One Cancer Voice Letter to Secretary of State for Health and Social Care

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Along with 50+ cancer charities, we have written with #OneCancerVoice to Dr Therese Coffey, MP, Deputy Prime Minister and Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, to urge her to set a date for publication of an ambitious and funded #10YearCancerPlan, one that delivers both for patients today and the 1 in 2 people who will get cancer in their lifetime.


The Rt Hon Dr Thérèse Coffey MP
Deputy Prime Minister and Secretary of State for Health and Social Care
Department of Health and Social Care
39 Victoria Street

21 September 2022

We are writing as a coalition of more than 50 cancer charities, speaking with One Cancer Voice, to congratulate you on your appointment as Secretary of State for Health and Social Care and to offer our support in your work on cancer.

As you will be aware, we are currently in an acute cancer crisis with missed cancer waiting times, a growing cancer backlog and a worsening cancer patient experience.  It has never been more important to have strong political leadership on cancer than it is now.

On behalf of people affected by cancer we were relieved to hear the Prime Minister commit at PMQs to publishing the 10-Year Cancer Plan.  We now ask that you reaffirm this commitment by setting out a clear date for publication and your commitment to an ambitious and fully funded plan that delivers for the 1 in 2 people who will get cancer in their lifetime.

The 2019 Conservative Party manifesto committed to improve cancer survival but we are concerned that this commitment will not be met by the time of the next General Election, in fact we risk seeing the progress we’ve made reverse.  Indeed, we still lag behind other comparable countries in terms of cancer survival, largely because of late diagnosis.

Today, there are around 375,000 new cancer cases in the UK every year – but by 2035, we expect that UK number to rise to 500,000. It is critical that measures are taken now both to address this growing cancer challenge and to take a long-term view of cancer, how we can improve and reform the health system to transform outcomes for the patients today and for tomorrow.

We understand that you will need to consider the draft 10-Year Cancer Plan developed by your officials as part of the ‘war on cancer’ and the ambition to deliver world class cancer outcomes in this country.  If you are in need of further evidence to support the plan then we are, individually and collectively, very happy to provide it.

We attach a copy of our full 10-Year Cancer Plan submission and urge you to publish this plan and ensure it delivers against three points below:

  • Fit for the future, fit for patients: This plan must set bold and stretching targets to achieve what really matters to people affected by cancer in the next decade – for example, by ensuring 78% of people are diagnosed at stage 1 or 2 and a 95% Faster Diagnosis Standard is met and ensuring everyone with cancer is able to access a needs assessment and personalised care plan.
  • Visionary and achievable: A transformative plan will harness the power of the UK’s world beating research and innovation to improve outcomes, patient experience and tackle health inequalities head on. It would publicly announce objectives, set timelines and match them with smart investment, helping to boost the economy.
  • A roadmap to solve cancer staff shortages: The plan must set out targeted funding to grow the cancer workforce to meet current and future demand to tackle backlogs, make more time for patients and drive innovation. It needs robust workforce modelling for the lifetime of the plan, matched by investment for at least the lifetime of the current Spending Review.

We would welcome the opportunity to support your work.  Between us we have insight, evidence and experience across the awareness, prevention, diagnosis, treatment and recovery from all cancer types and patient groups, including adults, children and young people.

Following your positive words, reinforcing patients as your priority, we would like to invite you to join us at a meeting to discuss how we think cancer services can be improved in this country and would be very happy to convene a round table with people affected by cancer so you can hear first-hand of their experiences and ideas.

Yours sincerely

Jeannie Rigby
Chief Executive, Action Bladder Cancer UK

Rose Woodward
Founder, Action Kidney Cancer

Henny Braund
Chief Executive, Anthony Nolan

Gemma Peters
Chief Executive, Blood Cancer UK

Genevieve Edwards
Chief Executive, Bowel Cancer UK

Will Jones
Chief Executive, Brainstrust

Sue Farrington Smith MBE
Chief Executive, Brain Tumour Research

Baroness Delyth Morgan
Chief Executive, Breast Cancer Now

Pamela Healy OBE
Chief Executive, British Liver Trust

Jane Lyons
Chief Executive, Cancer52

Professor Frank Chinegwundoh MBE
Chairperson, Cancer Black Care

Robin Pritchard
Co-Director, Cancer Care Map

John Symons
Director, Cancer of Unknown Primary Foundation – Jo’s friends

Michelle Mitchell OBE
Chief Executive, Cancer Research UK

Jo Elvin
Chief Executive, Children with Cancer UK

Ashley Gamble
Chief Executive, Children’s Cancer and Leukaemia Group

Marc Auckland
CLLSA Chair of Trustees, CLL Support Association

Dr Jen Kelly
CEO, Grace Kelly Childhood Cancer Trust

Tina Seymour
Chief Executive, Hope for Tomorrow

Samantha Dixon
Chief Executive, Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust

Nick Turkentine
Chief Operating Officer, Kidney Cancer UK

Anna Jewell
Chair, Less Survivable Cancers Taskforce

Zack Pemberton-Whiteley
Chief Executive, Leukaemia Care

Fiona Hazel
Chief Executive, Leukaemia UK

Stewart O’Callaghan
Founder & Chief Exe, Live Through This

Ropinder Gill
Chief Executive, Lymphoma Action

Lynda Thomas CBE
Chief Executive, Macmillan Cancer Support

Gillian Nuttall
Chief Executive, Melanoma UK

Liz Darlison MBE
Chief Executive Officer, Mesothelioma UK

Sophie Castell
CEO, Myeloma UK

Tony Hebdon
Chair, Neuroblastoma

Victoria Clare
CEO, Ovacome

Cary Wakefield
Chief Executive Officer, Ovarian Cancer Action

Ali Stunt
CEO, Pancreatic Cancer Action

Diana Jupp
Chief Executive, Pancreatic Cancer UK

Julie Worrall
CEO, Penny Brohn UK

Laura Kerby
Chief Executive, Prostate Cancer UK

Sarah Quinlan MBE
Charity Director, Radiotherapy UK

Mike Grundy
Deputy Chief Executive, Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation

Dr Katharine Halliday
President, Royal College of Radiologists

Richard Davidson
Chief Executive, Sarcoma UK

Gail Jackson
Chief Executive, Solving Children’s Cancer

Roshani Perera
Trustee, Tackle Prostate Cancer

Annwen Jones OBE
Chief Executive, Target Ovarian Cancer

Kate Collins
Chief Executive, Teenage Cancer Trust

Graham Norton
Interim CEO, The Brain Tumour Charity

Athena Lamnisos
Chief Executive, The Eve Appeal

Ian Boyd
Executive Director, Trekstock

Nina Barough CBE
Founder & Chief Executive, Walk the Walk Worldwide

Nigel Shattock
Director of Communication & Engagement, World Cancer Research Fund

Kathryn Scott
Chief Executive, Yorkshire Cancer Research

Rachel Kirby-Rider
Chief Executive, Young Lives Vs Cancer

> Download the letter (DOC 2MB)