Is the NHS cancer plan successful?

A new study by the Cancer Survival Group at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine found that the NHS Cancer Plan has not had significant impact on either short-term survival or the “deprivation gap” in survival.

The NHS Cancer plan was introduced in 2000 and aimed to improve cancer survival to levels comparable with the rest of Europe, and to reduce inequalities in cancer survival within the UK. According to the study, which was published at BMJ, and lead author Aimilia Exarchakou,  little evidence was found that cancer policies have had a direct impact on survival in England, with outcomes consistently worse among the more deprived patients. Researchers advise that more attention needs to be paid to healthcare system factors, such as the level of staffing, equipment and funding.

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