Responding to news that almost three million people - the highest on record - were referred for cancer checks over the last 12 months in England, Dr Layla McCay, director of policy at the NHS Confederation, said:
“Health leaders and their teams have worked incredibly hard to recover services since the worst of Covid, carrying out almost three million checks for cancer over the past 12 months. The NHS has been encouraging people to come forward and has introduced new ways of bringing vital checks closer to people, through innovative schemes such as the use of mobile clinics.
“However, NHS leaders know there is a lot more to do with many people yet to receive a cancer diagnosis or begin treatment. This is why our members have been calling on the Government to be clear about the ongoing threat of Covid-related disruptions to services, the state the NHS is currently in with over 110,000 staff vacancies, and how long it will take for the health service to truly recover.
“Continued progress to accelerate cancer diagnoses and treatments must be assured for the years to come, through increased funding from central government and a long-term plan for boosting and supporting the NHS workforce, particularly where there are shortages in key specialist areas.”