To guide the restoration of services, we have joined with 24 other cancer charities to set out a ‘12-point plan’, outlining what the health service in England will need to do to enable cancer services to recover from the pandemic.
The 12-point plan, headed by Cancer Research UK, sets out across the two phases of the pandemic that NHS England are planning for, restoration (phase II) running until this August and then the recovery (phase III) that will take over until March 2021.
The plan sets out the steps needed to get the significant transformation agenda for cancer services back on track, as simply restoring to pre-COVID-19 levels and models of service is not sufficient to deliver the improved outcomes that patients in this country expect and deserve.
The plan includes calls to keep baseline cancer services running during the pandemic, the establishment of COVID-19-protected environments for patients and healthcare staff, investment into cancer awareness campaigns, the restarting of clinical trials and a drive for personalised cancer care.
The full plan can be found here
Together with the other charities, we know that many cancer patients have experienced new anxieties during this crisis, stemming from uncertainty about when their treatment and tests might get back on track, as well as the risks they face from COVID-19.
Around 200,000 people with cancer in England have also been advised to ‘shield’ and their practical needs – ensuring they have access to food, or considering how they can continue to work – have been suddenly thrown into question.
For many people with cancer, this has resulted in social isolation, anxiety and other psychological needs that must be addressed in any recovery plan.
Sarah Lindsell, CEO of The Brain Tumour Charity, said: “The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is having an immediate effect on the treatment plans and ongoing medical care of so many people in our community.
“This 12-point plan seeks to set out a road map of recovery for cancer services and The Brain Tumour Charity are proud to stand united with other the other charities to drive this forward.”
The plan is supported across social media platforms with the #OneCancerVoice hashtag