Study Critical Of ‘Poor’ Cancer Care In England

Expert Calls For Reaction To Concerns In King's Fund Report

09.06.2011

A medical negligence expert at Irwin Mitchell has called on the government to boost its focus on improving standards of cancer care, following the release of new research.

The study by the King’s Fund revealed that cancer survival rates in England are behind a number of other countries, with its poor performance in key areas of care pinpointed as one possible reason.

It also revealed that survival rates were worse for elderly and deprived social groups, with the disparity between those demographics and others growing wider.

The King’s Fund found evidence of late diagnosis, delays in access to treatment and an age bias, but concluded drug availability was not a major factor in England’s performance.

Discussing the findings, Ian Christian, a Partner and clinical negligence specialist at Irwin Mitchell’s London office, said: “This research has highlighted a number of issues which we would urge the NHS and the government to urgently address.

“It is unacceptable that evidence of age or social bias in cancer treatment has been identified, as all patients deserve to be given access to the high standards of care regardless of how old they are or their background.

“I have a number of cases in which individuals and their families have suffered as a result of a delay in diagnosis and substandard treatment.

“The safety of all patients needs to be a priority for the NHS. It is vital that the conclusions drawn in this report are used as a starting point to providing better healthcare to cancer patients to reduce the emotional and financial cost.

“For the sake of everyone affected by poor cancer care, it is time that lessons are learned on this issue.”