Sir George Young, MP for North West Hants, has been thanked by Cancer Research UK for supporting the charity’s ‘Cancer 2020’ campaign, calling on Ministers to face up to future challenges posed by cancer.
Sir George recently attended a reception at the House of Commons where he heard Cancer Research UK’s chief executive, Alex Markham, call on the Government to update the NHS Cancer Plan. The charity is now celebrating, following a Government announcement that it would work with Cancer Research UK and other cancer charities to develop a Cancer Reform Strategy that looks beyond the current plan’s timeframe. This is a key goal of the ‘Cancer 2020’ campaign.
The current plan, which is central to further improvements to cancer services, is due to run out in 2010. The charity had been arguing that it is vital the Government starts planning now to take account of future challenges identified in a recent report by the independent King’s Fund. These include rising cancer incidence, improved survival rates, advances in treatment and the evolving structure of the NHS itself.
In a bid to keep up the pressure, Cancer Research UK amassed more than a quarter of a million signatures for its ‘Cancer 2020’ petition.
Sir George said “I am delighted that the Government has responded positively to Cancer Research UK’s ‘Cancer 2020’ campaign by announcing a Cancer Reform Strategy
“More and more people in North West Hants are surviving cancer, which is really good news. But Cancer Research UK has been absolutely right to point out that Ministers need to start planning now if progress is to be sustained.
“The fact that their ‘Cancer 2020’ petition for an updated Cancer Plan has been signed by a quarter of a million people shows that this is obviously an important issue for an awful lot of people. I will be watching closely to see that the Government’s proposed Cancer Reform Strategy is developed in a way that benefits the people of North West Hants. "
Professor Alex Markham, Cancer Research UK’s chief executive, said: “Cancer Research UK is very grateful to Sir George for supporting our ‘Cancer 2020’ campaign. With his help and the petition signatures of over a quarter a million people, we’ve succeeded in persuading Ministers to start planning now for future cancer challenges. We’re looking forward to working with them to ensure the proposed Cancer Reform Strategy addresses recent changes in cancer incidence, survival rates, treatment and the way the NHS works”.