Lesley Griffiths, Minister for Health and Social Services
The Welsh Government is today publishing “Together for Health – Cancer Delivery Plan”, alongside a short public facing document “Together for Health – Cancer Delivery Plan - Our Vision”, which sets out what the people of Wales can expect from NHS cancer care by 2016. 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. We have an ambitious programme for better health and reduced inequalities in Wales.
The National Assembly for Wales has rightly debated cancer on many occasions. This reflects the significant impact which cancer has on someone’s life and those of their family. In publishing the Cancer Delivery Plan, I want to build on the progress we have already made in Wales. Wales has the highest rate of improved survival in the UK in recent years; Cancer screening programmes in Wales have uptakes 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. Local Health Boards must lead work with the full range of their partners to plan and deliver cancer services which meet the needs of people at risk of or affected by cancer. The Plan is, therefore, designed to empower and enable the NHS to take responsibility for taking the lead, working together with its partners in meeting the needs of people at risk of or affected by cancer, by setting 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
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 focussing on how many people have a Key Worker to co-ordinate seamless care and a care plan to assess, record and meet the needs of each individual person affected by cancer. In parallel, we will be developing a survey of cancer patients’ experiences, to be co-funded by Macmillan Cancer Support and Welsh Government.
I would like to thank everyone who responded to the public consultation on the Cancer Delivery Plan. Special thanks go to members of the Cancer Implementation Group, the Wales Cancer Alliance, and Macmillan Cancer Support, in particular, for their advice and input into finalising the Cancer Delivery Plan.
The Cancer Delivery Plan for the NHS, together with its partners, sets a compelling vision for success. It challenges each organisation to plan and deliver high quality services in partnership. The Welsh Government wants to see continuous improvement integrated into everyday working. It is now time for the Local Health Boards to take the lead, working effectively together with their partner NHS Trusts, GPs, pharmacists, dentists, opticians, Local Government, the Third Sector partners and others, to plan and deliver cancer care services Wales can be proud of and where each person affected by cancer is measurably better off as a result of NHS cancer care.