Headlines: October 29th, 1998

Big improvements have been seen in the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer across the country, according to the Department of Health.It follows the allocation of 20 million pounds of extra funding given to breast cancer services by the Government since May last year.

Baroness Hayman, Parliamentary Secretary for Health, said: “Progress reports from the eight English health regions show this money is delivering real improvements on the ground. Improving both the prevention and treatment of cancer is a key priority for this Government, and we have backed it up with a package of targeted measures.

“Our public health green paper ‘Our Healthier Nation’ sets new targets for reducing the death rate from cancer among people aged under 65. And the White Paper ‘The New NHS: Modern, Dependable’ gives guarantees on improving access to services.”

She said that the progress so far was only the start. A consultation paper is to be published shortly setting out further details following the Prime Minister’s September announcement of extra money for cancer services from the New Opportunities Fund.

The improvements reported by Baroness Hayman involved more efficient and speedier service to women by using money to recruit more surgeons and run extra clinics.