A new National Cancer Director has addressed delegates at a critical London conference focused on the deadly condition.
Cally Palmer CBE was recently named the new Director of the critical cancer organisation, and the NHS chief executive outlined her plans for the future of the NHS in this area at the Britain Against Cancer conference.
The conference was hosted by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Cancer, with attendees including Palmer striking an optimistic note on the future of treating cancer.
Indeed, Palmer suggested that a realistic prospect for national cancer policy was for Britain to achieve the best cancer care of any nation on the planet.
The All Party Parliamentary Group on Cancer is an annual event, notable for a keynote speech made by the Secretary of State.
Indeed, Jerry Hunt was in attendance for this event, and spoke to assembled delegates on the subject of cancer care.
Also in attendance at one of the world’s most significant cancer conferences was NHS England’s National Clinical Director for Cancer Professor Sean Duffy.
Palmer is currently employed as Chief Executive of the Royal Marsden Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.
She joined NHS England as National Cancer Director in November.
Speaking at the conference, Palmer was effusive in her praise for the vision that has been outlined by the Independent Cancer Taskforce.
She also took the time to explain how she will play a critical role in assisting the implementation of the recommendations made by the report of the task force.
“Back in September NHS England announced a new ‘Cancer Vanguard’: three sites which will come together to trial new ideas and approaches to the commissioning and provision of cancer services, including testing capitated budgets from April 2017. We expect this to begin to teach us about what works and what doesn’t almost immediately,” Palmer stated.
Palmer also made it clear that as part of her new position she had made a significant decision related to Cancer Alliances.
The report had suggested that these organisations could make a serious contribution to the fight against cancer in the UK.
“In response to the recommendation by the Taskforce report, we’re also establishing Cancer Alliances across the country from April next year, which will be the cornerstone of delivering changes at a local level.”
Miss Palmer announced a new Cancer Transformation Board to lead the rollout of the other recommendations of the Taskforce report, and a Cancer Advisory Group, chaired by Harpal Kumar, Chief Executive of Cancer Research UK, to oversee and scrutinise their work.
Finally, Palmer also presented information related to the new cancer dashboard; a prototype technology that will enable the measurement of progress related to cancer patients.
“From April 2016 every CCG will be able to see their own data in this format and will be able to benchmark themselves against other CCGs. This was the first of the 96 recommendations that the Taskforce gave us, and we have made it a priority. We all need to be clear what we’re working towards, and a unified set of measures is fundamental to this,” Palmer explained.
The cancer dashboard will play a major role in UK cancer treatment going forward, with a particular focus on incidents, survival rates, patient experience and quality of life for cancer sufferers.
There are over 160,000 UK deaths from cancer every year.