Tackling cancer, and its consequences across Wales, is an important commitment of the Welsh Government’s Programme for Government and its five year NHS plan, "Together for Health".
The document, "Together for Health – Cancer Delivery Plan" provides a framework to inform and underpin action by Local Health Boards. It sets out the Welsh Government’s expectations of the NHS in Wales in tackling cancer for people of all ages, wherever they live in Wales and whatever their circumstances.
The Plan sets out:
- The population outcomes we want and how we will measure success;
- The outcomes we expect for people as a result of their NHS cancer care;
- How we will measure NHS success and the level of performance we expect by 2016 across Wales;
- Themes for action by the NHS, together with its partners, for the period up to 2016.
Launching the plan at the Shooting Star cancer unit at Wrexham Maelor Hospital today, the Health Minister said:
"Wales has the highest rate of improved survival in the UK in recent years, with uptake of cancer screening programmes here among the highest in Europe. We continue to make significant investments in treatments and research.
"However, we need to go further. We need, for example, to increase survival rates even more, especially in our deprived communities.
"An important element of our work is using a person’s experience of NHS cancer care to help design better services. This will be achieved by focusing on how many people have a Key Worker to co-ordinate seamless care and a care plan to assess, record and meet the need of the individual.
"It is now time for Local Health Boards to take the lead, working effectively together with their partner NHS Trusts, GPs, pharmacies, dentists, opticians, local government, Third Sector partners and others, to plan and deliver cancer care services Wales can be proud of."
The Minister also stressed that a Cancer Drugs Fund will not be introduced in Wales.
Lesley Griffiths said: "There is no evidence a Cancer Drugs Fund makes any difference to quality of life or survival. Rather, evidence shows cancer survival is more closely linked to early diagnosis and treatment. It is therefore on these issues our Cancer Delivery Plan focuses."