Thank you for contacting me about cancer research.
This Government is committed to improving cancer outcomes throughout the UK, and Ministers recognise that investing in research is vital in order to increase survival rates.
The UK is a world leader in health research and I am delighted that the science budget of £4.7 billion will be protected in real terms in this Parliament. I welcome the ambitious plans already set out to invest £6.9 billion in the UK’s scientific infrastructure up to 2021 which will mean new equipment, new laboratories and new research institutes.
All four UK Health Departments, along with Cancer Research UK, are jointly funding a network of 18 experimental cancer medicine centres aimed at driving the development and testing of new anti-cancer treatments.
The Government is working with the NHS, charities and patient groups to deliver the new cancer strategy developed by the independent Cancer Taskforce. It has committed to ensuring that by 2020, everyone referred with a suspicion of cancer will receive either a definitive diagnosis or the all-clear within four weeks. The Government is supporting this by investing up to £300 million a year on new diagnostic equipment by 2020, along with a national training programme for an additional 200 staff to carry out endoscopy tests by 2018.
Early diagnosis is key, and I know that NHS England has launched a major early diagnosis programme, Accelerate, Co-ordinate, Evaluate, working with cancer charities to test new innovative approaches to identifying cancer more quickly.
I support the Government’s commitment to the £1 billion Cancer Drugs Fund which has helped 84,000 people to access the life-extending drugs they need. Furthermore, thanks to the Government’s long-term plan for the economy, NHS spending in England will increase by £10 billion per annum in real terms by 2020/21.
Thank you again for taking the time to get in touch.