Boosting Cancer Survival

Policy motion

As passed by conference

Submitted by: 10 members
Mover: Daisy Cooper MP (Spokesperson for Health and Social Care).
Summation: Max Wilkinson.


Conference notes with concern that:

  1. One in two of us will get cancer in our lifetime.
  2. By 2040, the number of new cases of cancer is estimated to increase by a fifth, the equivalent of half a million new cases being diagnosed each year.
  3. Cancer targets for diagnosis and starting treatment have not been met since 2015.
  4. Nearly 100,000 patients in 2023 waited longer than the NHS target of 62 days to start cancer treatment.
  5. The current Conservative Government broke its promise on a ten-year cancer plan that would have made a real difference to patients.
  6. Every four-week delay to starting cancer treatment is associated with a 10% decrease in survival.
  7. The majority of cancer research in the UK is funded by the charity sector and the challenge of tackling cancer requires more sustainable funding.
  8. The UK ranks one of the lowest globally - between 14th and 27th out of 29 countries - for five-year survival for the less survivable cancers.
  9. The Conservative Government has slashed spending on public health grants, that support programmes and initiatives that support people's health and prevent illness, by around a fifth or £800m since 2015.
  10. An extra 33,000 cancer cases per year in the UK (nearly one in 10) are associated with deprivation and inequality.
  11. The Conservative Government has allowed the UK research environment to deteriorate, and is presiding over the closure of the National Cancer Research Institute, which has coordinated cancer research for more than two decades.
  12. There are shortages across all professions in the cancer workforce, which has contributed to growing expenditure on short-term staffing across all areas of NHS care, estimated by the British Medical Association at £9 billion in 2022.

Conference notes with optimism that:

  1. Twice as many people survive cancer today compared to the 1970s, and in the last 10 years cancer mortality has fallen by 10% and is predicted to fall another 6% by 2040.
  2. More than a million lives have been saved from cancer across the UK since the 1980s due to the progress made in prevention, diagnosis and treatment.
  3. Since the launch of the NHS HPV vaccination programme in 2008, around 450 cancers and 17,200 pre-cancers have been prevented and the programme is considered to be one of the most successful in the world.

Conference believes that:

  1. Cancer should be a top priority for any Government.
  2. Far too many patients have been let down and forgotten by the Conservative Government, which has run local health services into the ground.
  3. All cancer patients in the UK should be confident that they will receive the best treatment for them quickly and won't experience negative outcomes associated with delays.
  4. Patients should not have to travel unreasonable distances to access lifesaving treatment and such distances should have no bearing on clinical decisions about treatment.
  5. The UK should be a global leader in cancer research and outcomes.
  6. A fair deal for the NHS workforce is vital to delivering better patient care, outcomes and research. Investing in the recruitment and retention of specialised cancer doctors and nurses is investment in patients and tackling growing cancer waiting lists.

Conference re-affirms our commitment progressively to restore the Public Health Grant to at least 2015 levels, with a proportion of these funds to be set aside for local communities experiencing the worst health inequalities to co-design, co-deliver, and co-produce plans on how the money should be spent.

Conference calls on the Government to:

  1. Implement a legal right to start the most suitable treatment within two months.
  2. Introduce a new Cancer Research Act that requires the Government to coordinate and ensure funding for research into cancers with the lowest survival rates, including lung, liver, brain, pancreatic and some childhood cancers.
  3. Boost access to radiotherapy by investing in 200 new radiotherapy machines and the staff to deliver an increased service, eliminating any blackspots in geographical coverage.
  4. Expand day units and satellite services for chemotherapy so that cancer patients in all parts of the country can access routine treatment within 60 minutes of travel from their home.
  5. Halve the time for new tests, treatments and innovations to reach patients by expanding MHRA capacity.
  6. Ensure that all cancer patients navigating treatment have a dedicated clinical nurse specialist they can contact directly throughout their treatment and monitoring.
  7. Save the National Cancer Research Institute which plays a vital role in coordinating cancer research.
  8. Recruit 3,400 more cancer nurses to boost capacity and provide high quality care to patients.
  9. Publish a ten-year cancer plan with an overall goal of improving survival.
  10. Plug the £1bn gap in cancer research funding over the next decade.
  11. Ensure that patients and their families are given information about charities, patient support groups and financial support at every key stage.
  12. Provide cancer patients and families of children with cancer with appropriate support to assist them through the treatment and aftercare process.
  13. Develop targeted action plans to address inequalities in access to and speed of cancer treatment.

Applicability: England only.

Motion prior to amendment

Concerns notes with concern that:

  1. One in two of us will get cancer in our lifetime.
  2. By 2040, the number of new cases of cancer is estimated to increase by a fifth, the equivalent of half a million new cases being diagnosed each year.
  3. Cancer targets for diagnosis and starting treatment have not been met since 2015.
  4. Tens of thousands of patients in 2023 waited longer than the NHS target of 62 days to start cancer treatment.
  5. The current Conservative Government broke its promise on a ten-year cancer plan that would have made a real difference to patients.
  6. Every four-week delay to starting cancer treatment is associated with a 10% decrease in survival.
  7. The majority of cancer research in the UK is funded by the charity sector and the challenge of tackling cancer requires more sustainable funding.
  8. The UK ranks one of the lowest globally - between 14th and 27th out of 29 countries - for five-year survival for the less survivable cancers.
  9. The Conservative Government has slashed spending on public health grants, that support programmes and initiatives that support people's health and prevent illness, by around a fifth or £800m since 2015.
  10. Nearly one in 10 cancer cases and 33,000 deaths are associated with deprivation and inequality.

Conference notes with optimism that:

  1. Twice as many people survive cancer today compared to the 1970s, and in the last 10 years cancer mortality has fallen by 10% and is predicted to fall another 6% by 2040.
  2. More than a million lives have been saved from cancer across the UK since the 1980s due to the progress made in prevention, diagnosis and treatment.
  3. Since the launch of the NHS HPV vaccination programme in 2008, around 450 cancers and 17,200 pre-cancers have been prevented and the programme is considered to be one of the most successful in the world.

Conference believes that:

  1. Cancer should be a top priority for any Government.
  2. Far too many patients have been let down and forgotten by the Conservative Government, which has run local health services into the ground.
  3. All cancer patients in the UK should be confident that they will receive the best treatment for them quickly and won't experience negative outcomes associated with delays.
  4. Patients should not have to travel unreasonable distances to access lifesaving treatment and such distances should have no bearing on clinical decisions about treatment.
  5. The UK should be a global leader in cancer research and outcomes.

Conference re-affirms our commitment progressively to restore the Public Health Grant to at least 2015 levels, with a proportion of these funds to be set aside for local communities experiencing the worst health inequalities to co-design, co-deliver, and co-produce plans on how the money should be spent.

Conference calls on the Government to:

  1. Implement a legal right to start the most suitable treatment within two months.
  2. Introduce a new Cancer Research Act that requires the Government to coordinate and ensure funding for research into cancers with the lowest survival rates, including lung, liver, brain, pancreatic and some childhood cancers.
  3. Boost access to radiotherapy by investing in 200 new radiotherapy machines.
  4. Halve the time for new tests, treatments and innovations to reach patients by expanding MHRA capacity.
  5. Ensure that all cancer patients navigating treatment have a dedicated clinical nurse specialist they can contact directly throughout their treatment and monitoring.
  6. Save the National Cancer Research Institute which plays a vital role in coordinating cancer research.
  7. Recruit 3,400 more cancer nurses to boost capacity and provide high quality care to patients.
  8. Publish a ten-year cancer plan with an overall goal of improving survival.
  9. Plug the £1bn gap in cancer research funding over the next decade.
  10. Ensure that patients and their families are given information about charities, patient support groups and financial support at every key stage.
  11. Provide cancer patients and families of children with cancer with appropriate support to assist them through the treatment and aftercare process.
  12. Develop targeted action plans to address inequalities in access to and speed of cancer treatment.

Applicability: England only.

Mover: 7 minutes; summation 4 minutes; all other speakers: 3 minutes. For eligibility and procedure for speaking in this debate, see pages 44-45 of the agenda.

The deadline for amendments to this motion is 13.00 Monday 4 March; see page 47. Those selected for debate will be printed in Conference Extra and Saturday's Conference Daily. The deadline for requests for separate votes is 09.00 Thursday 14 March; see page 44.

Amendments

The FCC has agreed to make the following drafting amendment to the motion:

In line 1, delete 'Concern' and insert 'Conference'.

 

Amendment One

PASSED

Submitted by: Lambeth
Mover: Stevan Cirkovic.
Summation: Donna Harris.

In D. (line 8), delete 'Tens of thousands of patients' and insert 'Nearly 100,000 patients'. 

Delete J. (lines 25-26) and insert:

J.     An extra 33,000 cancer cases per year in the UK (nearly one in 10) are associated with deprivation and inequality.

After J (line 26), insert:

K.     The Conservative Government has allowed the UK research environment to deteriorate, and is presiding over the closure of the National Cancer Research Institute, which has coordinated cancer research for more than two decades.
L.     There are shortages across all professions in the cancer workforce, which has contributed to growing expenditure on short-term staffing across all areas of NHS care, estimated by the British Medical Association at £9 billion in 2022.

After e) (line 50), insert:

f)     A fair deal for the NHS workforce is vital to delivering better patient care, outcomes and research. Investing in the recruitment and retention of specialised cancer doctors and nurses is investment in patients and tackling growing cancer waiting lists.

Delete 3. (lines 63-64) and insert:

3.     Boost access to radiotherapy by investing in 200 new radiotherapy machines and the staff to deliver an increased service, eliminating any blackspots in geographical coverage.

After 3. (lines 64), insert:

4.     Expand day units and satellite services for chemotherapy so that cancer patients in all parts of the country can access routine treatment within 60 minutes of travel from their home.