Monday 20th July 2015

Responding to the publication, Siobhan Dunn, Teenage Cancer Trust CEO, said: 

Cancer continues to kill more young people in the UK than any other disease. We welcome the recommendations set out by the Taskforce, and their focus on some key issues for young people.

"We’re delighted to see cancer education recognised as a priority within the Taskforce’s report.  We know that educating young people about cancer in schools works, and we look forward to working on delivering this recommendation alongside partners in NHS England and Public Health England.

We also know that poor experiences with diagnosis, transition from children’s to adult services, and access to age appropriate care and clinical research trials must all be addressed if the NHS is to improve outcomes for young cancer patients. Over the last 25 years Teenage Cancer Trust has pioneered the development of specialist services and expert staff to significantly improve the quality of care for young people with cancer. This is a critical time for the development of these services. We want to continue to work in partnership with the NHS to deliver our new Nursing & Support Service so we can reach every young person with cancer in the next 5 years. We hope this new cancer strategy will help support this delivery on the ground.”

The Taskforce’s report sets out ambitions and opportunities across all areas of cancer care, and also include measures to increase young people’s access to clinical trials, and a recommendation to ensure patient experience data is collected for those under 16.

We’ve fed into the development of these recommendations, responding to the Taskforce’s call to evidence this year and taking part in working groups to inform the report.  We made the case for protecting the specialism of teenage and young adult cancer care and including specific recommendations relating to the unique needs of young people.  We also set out the areas of the cancer pathway where real improvements can be made, including prevention and early diagnosis, the provision of age appropriate care and treatment, and support for young people during and after treatment. 

The recommendations on improving outcomes and experience for young people with cancer are a welcome first step, and Teenage Cancer Trust will be working to ensure that these ambitions are now delivered.