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Call for more NHS cancer funding

11 September 2014 09:38

Experts have called for more NHS funding for cancer services

Experts have called for more NHS funding for cancer services

An increasing number of people are expected to get cancer as a result of the UK's ageing population, according to a report.

The trend is piling more and more pressure on NHS cancer services, which are also having to cope with austerity measures and reforms being imposed by the Government, the report commissioned by Cancer Research UK shows.

As the population gets older, demand for travel insurance for people with pre-existing medical conditions is also growing. This includes an increased demand for travel insurance for cancer patients.

While survival rates for the disease are higher than ever, the number of cases of cancer is also rising. This means more help is needed for diagnosing cancer, treating people and helping them deal with the after effects of the disease.

Cancer Research UK's chief executive, Harpal Kumar, is calling for more funds to be pumped into NHS cancer services in order to help medical experts deal with the rising demand.

Real-term spending on cancer reached a high of £5.9 billion in 2009/10, according to the report. In 2012/13 this figure had shrunk to £5.7 billion.

Mr Kumar has praised NHS cancer staff and says the services they work for have held up remarkably well considering the strain they are under -brought on by rising demands, overwhelming change, scaled-back budgets and fragmented leadership. However, he adds that this cannot go on indefinitely without more help and support.

Furthermore, he says there is no prospect whatsoever that the services will improve to be among the best in the world if they fail to receive additional funds.

Mr Kumar says the staff who have been propping up these NHS services are now saying "enough is enough".

The report calls for more investment, especially in diagnostic services where demand is beginning to overtake available resources.

And fears have also been raised that capacity is failing to keep pace with current demands which could have an impact on patients.