One Cancer Voice letter to The Secretary of State for Health & Social Care on the forthcoming 10-Year Cancer Plan

EDIT (22/07/2022): Since Boris Johnson’s resignation, we have updated and resubmitted the letter to the two main Conservative Leadership candidates, Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak.

> Download the updated letter (PDF 867KB)

Today (20 June 2022), we have joined more than 40 other cancer charities to speak with One Cancer Voice on what we need from the government in advance of the new 10-Year Cancer Plan.


The Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP
Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Department of Health and Social Care
39 Victoria Street

20 June 2022

Dear Secretary of State,

As you consider the final detail of the forthcoming 10-Year Cancer Plan, we are writing, with One Cancer Voice, to urge you to ensure the plan meets the essential tests we set out in our submission as being essential to deliver on your ambition of having the best cancer care in Europe. The plan must include robust, fully costed and funded plans to deliver on its ambitions, and set out how it will address shortages in workforce and equipment – key hurdles that have hindered previous commitments and strategies.

This 10-Year Cancer Plan could not be coming at a more important time for people affected by cancer in England. As you know, the devastating impact of the pandemic on cancer services continues to be felt, and growing waits for care stubbornly persist. Worrying new survey data from Cancer Research UK shows that 3 in 4 (75%) adults in the UK don’t think the NHS has enough staff or equipment to deal with cancer. With rising cancer incidence over the 10 years of this plan, the challenge is only set to grow – meaning tangible, decisive action is needed now.

We are incredibly grateful for your personal commitment to this plan, and have welcomed the engagement from you and your officials as the plan has been developed. In that spirit of constructive engagement, we believe it is important to reiterate the key tests to which the whole cancer community will hold this 10-Year Cancer Plan. These include:

  • Fully planned, costed and funded: The power to truly transform the outcomes for people affected by cancer by 2032 is in your hands. To reach that potential, this plan must be visionary and set bold and stretching targets to achieve what really matters to people affected by cancer – preventing more cancers, diagnosing more cancers earlier, and offering the best treatment and care tailored to the needs of every patient.
    In doing so you will also have the opportunity to deliver on your ambition to tackle health inequalities and truly harness the power of the UK’s world-beating research and innovation to improve outcomes and experience. Ambition and vision must be underpinned by a clear, fully costed and funded plan for how we will get there. That means publicly announced objectives for how you will transform cancer outcomes and experience, with timelines for implementation for each part of the plan, along with associated costing and funding.
  • No more shortages in the cancer workforce: Fundamentally, without investment in growing the cancer workforce to meet demand, to tackle backlogs, make more time for patients and drive innovation in cancer services the plan will not have the confidence of the cancer community.
    The plan must deliver on the existing Ministerial commitment that “the forthcoming 10-Year Cancer Plan will also ensure we have the right workforce in place.” That cannot be achieved without robust workforce modelling for the lifetime of the plan, matched by committed investment for at least the lifetime of the current Spending Review period.
  • Match ambition with accountability: The whole cancer community wants to see this plan succeed. To support you to deliver the ambitions of the upcoming plan, we need a transparent accountability framework with clear political leadership and annual assessment of progress.
    For accountability to be meaningful, it must include independent governance that involves the whole cancer community including cancer charities and people affected by cancer.

Underpinning these three key measures is a more detailed set of ten important tests, developed by our One Cancer Voice coalition. We have shared these with you previously and they serve as the cancer community’s collective priorities for this strategy.

Right now, you have the opportunity to help bring forward a future where people affected by cancer in England have truly world-leading cancer outcomes and experience. If the 10-Year Cancer Plan can meet these tests, we believe you will have taken the first great stride towards this. But the plan must meet these tests if it is to have the full support, belief and backing of the wider cancer community. Our collective response will be led by whether or not these tests are met.

Yours sincerely,

Jeannie Rigby, Director, 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

Prof 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

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

Marc Auckland, CLLSA Chair of Trustees, CLL Support Association

Natalie Haskell, CEO, CoppaFeel!

Dr Jen Kelly, Director, 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

Lynda Thomas CBE, Chief Executive, Macmillan Cancer Support

Ropinder Gill, Chief Executive, Lymphoma Action

Gillian Nuttall, Chief Executive, Melanoma UK

Liz Darlison MBE, Chief Executive Officer, Mesothelioma UK

Sophie Castell, CEO, Myeloma UK

Dr Anna Webb, Director, Myrovlytis Trust

Tony Hebdon, Chair, Neuroblastoma

Alastair Richards, CEO, North West Cancer Research

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

Richard Davidson, Chief Executive, Sarcoma UK

Gail Jackson, Chief Executive, Solving Children’s Cancer

Roshani Perera, Trustee, Tackle Prostate Cancer

Helen Dickens, Director of Programmes, Target Ovarian Cancer

Kate Collins, Chief Executive, Teenage Cancer Trust

Alex Lochrane, Chief Executive, The Brain Tumour Charity

Athena Lamnisos, Chief Executive, The Eve Appeal

Ian Boyd, Executive Director, Trekstock

Janet Lindsay, CEO, Wellbeing of Women

Rachael Gormley, CEO, World Cancer Research Fund

Kathryn Scott, Chief Executive, Yorkshire Cancer Research

Rachel Kirby-Rider, Chief Executive, Young Lives Vs Cancer

> Download the letter (PDF 867KB)