Today I was invited to back an appeal from Cancer Research UK for more NHS cancer staff at a special event in Westminster. The campaign ‘Shoulder to Shoulder Against Cancer’ encourages everyone to support the NHS by calling on the UK Government to increase the number of staff who diagnose and treat the disease.
I know this is already a major priority for the Government and I am encouraged that UK cancer survival rates are higher than ever. However, there is still more to be done. In Thirsk and Malton, for example, thousands of people are diagnosed every year with cancer and many of those sadly go on to die from the disease, so I am fully supportive of this campaign.
For 70 years the NHS has been at the forefront of fighting cancer and it has done a fantastic job, by turning breakthroughs in research into vital tests and treatments. However, with a growing and ageing population cancer services are struggling to cope with the increased number of diagnoses. This means more staff are urgently needed to keep up with the demand for life-saving tests and treatments.
As the health service reaches its 70th birthday, it does face unprecedented challenges. That’s why I’m backing Cancer Research UK’s call to stand shoulder to shoulder with the NHS against cancer, so that everyone has the best possible chance of surviving this devastating disease.