Memorandum submitted by the Department
of Medical Oncology, Hammersmith Hospitals NHS Trust
As far as the funding of the NHS Cancer Plan
is concerned there are clearly major problems in terms of delivering
the money that the Government intends for cancer actually to come
to the budgets in the cancer centres. The estimate locally in
West London is that of the money funded in the year 2000-02 West
London should have received a bit over £12,000,000.00. Even
with recent agreements with the local Health Authorities the only
allocation that we have been able to identify so far of this sum
of money is that the Health Authorities have allocated £3.9
million to cancer. At present there has been no improvement in
funding in Cancer Services within Hammersmith Hospitals NHS Trust.
This service will, in fact, have a considerable deficit on their
budget in this financial year. Clearly it is impossible to start
moving towards the mean of European cancer care delivery without
real money arriving in the correct place which is not happening
at present. Clearly, the money needs to be ring-fenced rather
than sent through the Health Authorities who are currently diverting
the bulk of the cancer money.
I think it is too early to make any comments
on the virtual National Cancer Research Institute as I think it
is too soon to have much experience from it.
Cancer registration is clearly highly important
for monitoring the changes in the incidence of different disease
eg the increase in malignant lymphomas. Apart from being an essential
epidemiological database this clearly confirms areas where increased
funding is necessary. Obviously the data needs to have appropriate
The West London Cancer Research Network has
just started and so far it is too early to make any real comments
about it. More generally, in relation to West London Cancer Network
the concept is regarded locally as being very good but the range
of issues involved mean that the networks will contribute to cancer
care over the longer term but are only just getting off the ground.
The bottom line with the NHS Cancer Plan at
present is that although Parliament is willing money for cancer
it is not being received in the quantities that Parliament intends.
Edward S Newlands
Professor of Cancer Medicine
20 December 2001