Andrew Gwynne, MP for Denton and Reddish, has signed a cross party letter to the Prime Minister and Chancellor calling on the Government to urgently provide a funding “super-boost” to cancer services at the Spring Budget to clear the COVID induced cancer backlog and prevent tens of thousands of additional lives being lost.
The letter signed by 75 Parliamentarians also calls for a new high-tech cancer recovery plan driven by innovative capacity building solutions, like advanced radiotherapy, delivered with the same level of political will as the overall COVID response.
The letter, backed by the #CatchUpWithCancer campaign, reflects Parliamentarians’ concerns that the existing Cancer Recovery Plan is out of date and the Cancer Recovery Taskforce does not have the power to secure the required investment in additional treatment and diagnostic capacity needed to properly tackle the backlog.
Andrew Gwynne said:
“The pandemic has had a really serious impact on cancer services and it is clear that there needs to be a new recovery plan backed up with the funding needed to implement it.
“This is a growing crisis and action is needed urgently. The Budget is a chance to get things moving and I would urge the Government not to miss the opportunity.”
Leading oncologist and founder of the #CatchUpWithCancer campaign Professor Pat Price said:
“We are going to be looking back in years to come at COVID caused cancer nightmare that led to as many cancer patients being lost unnecessarily as we lose to coronavirus itself.
However, it doesn’t have to be this way. We can save both COVID and cancer patients. But that needs a change in approach, proper accountability and hard cash at the budget for cancer services.
“The Government should be lifting heaven and earth, just like the frontline clinicians already are, so that we have the tools, a comprehensive plan and a minister responsible for addressing this crisis and quickly.”