Wednesday 4th March 2020

Responding to the State of Child Health Report, today published by Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, Sasha Daly, Deputy Director of Policy and Influencing at Teenage Cancer Trust said: 

“This report highlights concerning trends in the health of children and young people across the UK. It is completely unacceptable that the health outcomes for children from disadvantaged backgrounds are up to four times worse than those from more advantaged backgrounds, and we know that there are statistically significant variations in incidence and survival rates of cancer in 13 to 24 year olds based on geography and deprivation. The differing trends in mortality rates for children with cancer across the devolved UK nations, outlined in the report, compounds this issue. It is more vital than ever that NHS England deliver the commitments outlined in the long-term plan, as we work towards improving these outcomes.

“For the past thirty years Teenage Cancer Trust has been working to ensure that all young people with cancer, regardless of their background or location, have access to our care and support. To ensure continued progress in the treatment and care of young people with cancer up to the aged 13 to 24 year, we particularly want to see clear plans of how NHS England aim to increase participation in clinical trials. Clinical trials play a major role in improving survival rates, treatment outcomes and patient experience, yet many teenagers and young adults are not able to access them. The long-term plan aims to increase participation rates in this age group, so it rises to 50% by 2025, but with a lack of clinical trials even available to young people, Teenage Cancer Trust would like to better understand how NHS England will work to actually get more trials open to young people.

“Teenage Cancer Trust supports the policy calls outlined in the report, and reiterates that any implementation strategies must consider young people up to the age of 25.”