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Tuesday, 30 August 2005 12:21
BNN: British Nursing News Online · www.bnn-online.co.uk
Cancer spending hits record high
A government enquiry has revealed that spending on cancer services has reached a record level.

Professor Mike Richards, the National Director for Cancer, undertook the study following concerns that cancer money was being diverted elsewhere in the NHS.

He found that since 2000/01, an additional 639m has been spent on cancer care - 69m more than pledged in the 2000 Cancer Plan.

Professor Richards found that cancer spending had included 192m on drugs and 230m on specialist services, 113m on new equipment and 103m on training and palliative care.

He said: "These figures show that the money being allocated to cancer services is making a real difference, with more drugs, staff and equipment being provided.

"More money than ever before is now going into tackling the disease and thousands of lives are being saved."

Health Minister Rosie Winterton said: "We have some of the fastest falling death rates from cancer in Europe.

"The latest figures show that cancer mortality has fallen by over 12% in the last six years.

"This equates to around 33,000 lives saved over this period.

"There's still more to do, but we are delivering better treatment, more quickly, to more people than ever before and there are thousands of people alive and well who would not be without these improvements."

Cancer charity Macmillan Cancer relief raised concerns over the use of funds in 2003, complaining of a lack of transparency and widespread inconsistencies in the allocation and tracking of money.

Peter Cardy, chief executive, said: "Macmillan will keep up the pressure on the Department of Health because this tracking exercise happened for one reason - charities and MPs asked why cancer money wasn't getting spent where it's meant.

"Much more still needs to be done to meet the NHS cancer targets and modernise cancer services to improve the quality of the entire patient journey.

"Cancer is a unique condition which requires special attention and continued investment.

"Cancer must remain a local and national disease priority throughout the UK."


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