Select Committee on Science and Technology Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence


Memorandum submitted by Professor James Malpas

  With regard to the NHS Cancer Plan my impression is that, although more money has been allocated to cancer, it is not reaching the clinic. The perception is that it is being purloined by the Trusts to reduce their debt. Unless the money is ring-fenced this will continue to happen. There is a view that this could be prevented if the new Cancer Networks had financial control, this would also improve the targeting of resources.

  I attended a seminar on the National Cancer Research Institute and it would appear that some progress is being made. The proposed organisation appears very cumbersome and, although a steering group has been set up, I am not convinced there is great enthusiasm.

  Cancer Registration is the fundamental source of information on the survival of patients with cancer. The supine response of the GMC to proposals that would interfere with the collection of this data would remove at one stroke any chance of knowing whether the National Cancer Plan had been successful. It is imperative that statistical data collection continues and is improved. I would make a plea that the status quo on cancer registration should be vigorously defended and furthermore that cancer registration is better funded in the future.

Professor James Malpas

1 December 2001

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