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Health minister faces questions over UK’s track record on cancer outcomes

14 January 2022

In its final evidence session, the inquiry into cancer services will question Maria Caulfield, Minister of State for Patient Safety and Primary Care, whose responsibilities include cancer.

The inquiry has examined why the UK continues to lag behind comparable countries in cancer outcomes. The Committee is expected to ask about the impact of Covid-19 on cancer services and discrepancies in cancer outcomes due to geography and socio-economic class. The Government’s ambition to diagnose 75% of cancers at an early stage by 2028 is likely to be scrutinized.

MPs are also expected to investigate whether the NHS has sufficient up-to-date equipment and specialised staff to diagnose and treat the numbers requiring cancer care. NHS England’s director for cancer care will also give evidence.

The inquiry

The inquiry into cancer services was launched in July. It aims to investigate why the UK continues to lag behind comparable countries in cancer outcomes. The disruption to cancer services from COVID-19 and actions to mitigate it will also be considered. The fourth session examined why certain areas have better access to clinical trials, more curative treatment options, and more advanced services than others. 

Witnesses

Thursday 20 January

At 10.35pm

  • Mark Foulkes, Macmillan Lead Cancer Nurse, Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust 
  • Judith Neptial, cancer patient

At 11am

  • Maria Caulfield MP, Minister of State for Patient Safety and Primary Care 
  • William Vineall, Director of NHS Quality, Safety and Investigations, Department of Health and Social Care
  • Dame Cally Palmer, National Cancer Director, NHS England 
  • Professor Peter Johnson, National Clinical Director for Cancer, NHS England

Further information

Image: Parliamentary copyright