Posted on Monday 7 January 2019
CLIC Sargent comments on NHS Long Term Plan
CLIC Sargent has welcomed the Government’s publication of the NHS Long Term Plan and the ambition it sets out for our health services over the next ten years.
Clare Laxton, Associate Director of Policy and Influencing at children and young people’s cancer charity, CLIC Sargent said: “We are pleased to see that for the first time, it has a specific focus on children and young people’s health. In particular, we welcome the creation of a Children and Young People’s Transformation Programme which will oversee the delivery of the Plan’s children and young people’s commitments. We hope that this makes a difference for all under 25 year olds. We were pleased to work with NHS England and others to develop this focus. It is critical that it is now followed by action and we look forward to working with NHS England to make this happen.”
For children and young people with cancer and their families the charity hugely welcomes the focus on increasing the speed of diagnosis and access to more personalised and innovative treatments via genome sequencing (to inform and guide treatment options) and CAR-T therapies (specialised therapy that uses the immune system to target cancer cells). CLIC Sargent will be monitoring the roll out of these new treatments and the impact they have on the lives of young cancer patients and their families. Also welcomed is focus on a NHS Digital Transformation – CLIC Sargent seeks to ensure that this translates into every hospital in England having free, high quality WiFi that is accessible to all wards and all patients.
CLIC Sargent also welcomes the focus on access to personalised care and children and young people’s mental health. Ms Laxton added: “We hope to see more integrated, tailored packages of support for young cancer patients because we know that cancer can have a huge impact on a young person’s emotional wellbeing.” Whilst the charity is happy with NHS England’s continued commitment to a Cancer Patient Experience Survey for under 16s it says that improving the response rate from 16 to 24 year olds to that survey must remain a priority. Improving the staffing levels of the cancer workforce is also crucial to the success of anything in this Plan.
“Despite the Plan’s recognition of the wider social and economic influences on children and young people’s health, we are really disappointed not to see any mention of financial support for children and young people with cancer and their families to travel to cancer treatment. The financial impact of travel costs can be devastating for families and we will continue to call for a Young Cancer Patient Travel Fund to ensure they get the support they need.”
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