Editorials

Cancer registration: integrate or disintegrate?

BMJ 1996; 313 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.313.7062.896 (Published 12 October 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;313:896
  1. N E Day, Professor of public health,
  2. T W Davies, Chairman of the UK Association of Cancer Registries
  1. Institute of Public Health, University of Cambridge, Cambridge CB2 2SR

    A national body is needed to ensure quality and comparability

    Cancer registration in England is under serious threat. For more than 20 years cancer registries were the responsibility of the regional health authorities, which have now been abolished. Although a new organisational structure and new funding mechanisms were supposed to have been in place in April 1996, much is still undecided. The likely path to be followed is devolution of funding and contractual responsibility to lead purchasers. Such devolution accords with the ideological framework of the changes taking place throughout the NHS, but it sits uneasily with the need for a national system of uniformly acceptable quality.

    The many reasons why a national system is required are well known and need little elaboration. In the context of the Health of the Nation targets1 and the implementation of the report of the Expert Advisory Group on Cancer Services,2 however, we would underline the essential role of …

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