Posted on Friday 1 April 2022

in News

Young Lives vs Cancer respond to the Government’s 10-Year Cancer Plan’s Call for Evidence

In early February, the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Sajid Javid announced the development of a new ‘10 Year Cancer Plan’ to set out a vision to deliver world class cancer care for England. Patients, health professionals, charities and other interested stakeholders were asked to submit evidence to shape the priorities for cancer services and recommendations on how to deliver them. 

Young Lives vs Cancer consulted approximately 100 parents and 60 young people directly on their views on the upcoming 10 Year Cancer Plan – through online polls and conversations. We have also drawn on our past research with children and young people with cancer and their families, as well our services staff. 

In our submission, Young Lives vs Cancer are calling for the following to be included in the future of cancer services so that world leading care and outcomes can be delivered for young cancer patients: 

  1. A Children and Young People’s Cancer Plan should be developed with input from young cancer patients and their families, the voluntary sector and health care professionals – this should form an integral part of the 10 Year Cancer Plan.
  2. Young people and families must be supported with their travel costs to treatment to ensure access to treatment is equitable wherever you live.
  3. Evidence-based mental health interventions for young cancer patients should be part of the treatment pathway and after care, and provided consistently across the UK.
  4. Age appropriate, personalised care should be core to the way young cancer patients receive services – whether they receive treatment at a specialist centre, closer to or at home.
  5. Accessible, timely data for children and young people with cancer must be available for incidence, prevalence, routes to diagnosis, and clinical trial entry.
  6. Health professionals must be supported to identify children and young people’s cancer through training, awareness and access to specialist professional expertise. Public facing campaigns will help empower young people and parents and support them to receive a timely diagnosis.
  7. Joined up and single point of access follow up services are needed to deliver long term aftercare to address the long term and late effects of childhood and young adult cancer. 

The practical, emotional and age specific burdens that treatment places on young cancer patients must be accounted for to deliver truly world leading cancer care which is accessible to all regardless of income, age or circumstance. The future of cancer services must deliver evidenced, age-appropriate support and care, working collaboratively with the voluntary sector to consistently deliver the emotional, practical and financial support needed. 

Young Lives vs Cancer also contributed to and endorse the submissions of the Children and Young People’s Cancer Coalition, Cancer 52, and One Cancer Voice. We support the evidence given by our partner charities the Children’s Cancer & Leukaemia Group (CCLG) and Teenage Cancer Trust.

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