Sunday, 13 September 2015

New cancer plan: Doctor to diagnosis in 28 days...

A new NHS target to speed up cancer diagnosis times has been announced by the Government.
Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt wants patients to be given a definitive diagnosis or the "all clear" within 28 days of a GP referral.
The target, which will be introduced from 2020, could help save up to 11,000 lives a year, according to the Independent Cancer Taskforce.
If the target is met Britain would become one of the first countries in the world to adhere to such a timetable.
Some £300m will be invested to help pay for the training of an additional 200 staff to carry out endoscopies.
This will be alongside an extra 250 gastroenterologists the NHS had already committed to train.
Mr Hunt said the newly-trained staff would be able to carry out over a half a million more endoscopies in the next five years.
"This is about improving the processes," he said. "If you look at the reason why sometimes we're not diagnosing things as quickly as possible it's about capacity in the system.
"It's about not having enough people to do endoscopies and not having enough cancer consultants who can make those judgements. Today's announcement is about increasing that capacity."
Margaret Procter, 56, from Stoke on Trent, was diagnosed with oesophageal cancer three years ago.
She has now been given the all clear but had an agonising wait for her results. She welcomed the news of a shorter timescale for diagnosis.
"Waiting for the results was the worst. Sleepless nights and worrying," she said.
"But as soon as they told me I could have surgery and the chemotherapy could start that was it. I thought 'right, I've got to start thinking positive now I've got to beat this'.
"Once you start having treatment it does turn things around. It was the waiting and not doing anything that kept me thinking I'm going to die."
Mr Hunt has also announced new measures for "tailored recovery packages" for cancer survivors.
In addition around 20,000 people a year will have their cancers "genetically tested" to identify the most effective treatments.

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