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Our response to the NHS Five Year Forward View

written by

Leukaemia Care, Charity

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Last week (23rd October 2014), the NHS published its Five Year Forward View plan which sets out a vision for the future of the NHS and why change is needed over the next five years.

Simon Stevens, the new chief executive of NHS England, clearly wants to craft a clear vision for the NHS, which makes people, sit up and take notice. The document indicates that a big shift is about to happen in the way the NHS in England is managed and organised. He wants to see barriers removed and an end to the divide between GPs with patients, and consultants with hospitals, meaning better care and outcomes for patients.

The plan could have a significant impact on blood cancer patients across England, especially with regards to earlier diagnosis. The document calls for “faster diagnosis and more uniform treatment for cancer”, something that we welcome wholeheartedly.

Monica Izmajlowicz, Leukaemia CARE’s CEO, said: “We know that around 33% of blood cancer patients are diagnosed via the emergency admissions route and 57% of all acute leukaemias are also diagnosed via his route. Late diagnosis can have significant consequences for one and five year survival. We appreciate that the symptoms of blood cancers are often hard to spot at primary care level, but urgent action is needed to address the issue of late diagnosis to improve outcomes for patients.”

The report also highlights the fact that “currently, the average GP will see fewer than eight new patients with cancer each year, and may see a rare cancer once in their career. They will therefore need support to spot suspicious combinations of symptoms.”

Monica said: “In the Spring of next year, we will be launching our early diagnostic e-learning tool for GPs for all blood cancers. We want to be able to better support our GPs and arm them with knowledge and support to spot the symptoms earlier.

‘As well as supporting clinicians to spot cancers earlier, we also need to support people to visit their GP at the first sign of something suspicious.”