Monday 7th January 2019
“We are pleased to welcome the new long-term plan from NHS England and the clear commitment they have made to prioritise early cancer diagnosis and improve treatment over the next decade. The pledge to record the DNA of every child with cancer to develop personalised treatment is an important and bold step and the move to increase the number of young people accessing clinical trials could be game changing.
This new plan has the potential to transform survival rates and ensure the best treatment, care and support for young people both during and after cancer. Its success will depend on effective and collaborative implementation and continued funding for the Teenage and Young Adult specialist workforce. It will also be vital that the needs of young people are listened to. We must work together as the plan is implemented to make it happen.
Having cancer is tough at any age, but as a young person it brings unique challenges and lifelong consequences. We know that specialist services and support make all the difference to young patients. Through our long-standing partnership with the NHS, Teenage Cancer Trust has helped revolutionise cancer care – building a national network of 28 specialist cancer wards, staffed by expert nursing and support teams.
Great strides have been made since the distinct needs of teenagers and young adults were officially recognised in NICE guidelines in 2005. We have seen improving outcomes for young patients and a better patient experience. This trend must continue in the future as the new NHS plan is realised.”
Over the next few months, Teenage Cancer Trust will be responding to the Service Specification consultation by the Clinical Reference Group for Children and Young Adult Cancer Services. We’ll be making sure that the experiences of young people during and after cancer are fully represented and we'll be calling for sustainable long-term investment in teenage and young adult cancer services. It presents an exciting opportunity to outline the standards and investment needed by the NHS.
You can keep up to date with our work on the consultation here.