Government accepts cancer amendment to Health Bill backed by Julian
November 24, 2021
Julian has welcomed the government’s acceptance yesterday of the proposed amendment to the government’s draft health law he signed to ensure greater NHS focus on increasing cancer survival rates. The amendment will now be incorporated into the new law when it completes its passage through Parliament.
The Health and Care Bill aims to improve the NHS through closer integration and better coordination between local services, alongside a major budget increase of some £44 billion during 2019-24.
The amendment, drafted by Julian Sturdy’s Conservative colleague John Baron, changes the government’s instructions to the NHS to ensure it prioritises cancer outcomes i.e. survival rates, over other objectives like waiting times. This should ensure the NHS focuses more on earlier diagnosis, the most important factor in successful cancer treatment, rather than the processes related to scheduling patients for treatment.
Better cancer survival rates enjoyed in some other countries reflect the fact they tend to diagnose earlier than in the UK, so changing the law as the amendment proposes will allow the health service to focus on what most matters to patients, and save more lives.
After Ministers accepted the amendment, Julian said: “I am very pleased the government has listened to the calls from myself and others and incorporated this important proposal to improve cancer care into the draft law.
As someone who has consistently campaigned for the best possible NHS cancer services for York families, I will watch carefully as the amended Bill now goes to its next stage in the House of Lords. I understand the government may tweak it slightly to ensure it fits properly with current health service processes, and will look carefully at any changes to ensure the purpose of the amendment is fully preserved.”