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Gaps in information are impeding progress in cancer care in England

BMJ 2010; 341 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.c6590 (Published 18 November 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;341:c6590
  1. Susan Mayor
  1. 1London

Wide variations in the care provided by different primary care trusts and a lack of high quality information are blocking further improvements in the care of patients in England with cancer, warns a new report.

Improving the care of patients with cancer has been a priority for the NHS for the past decade, in recognition of the fact that mortality rates in England for several cancers are higher than in other European countries. The NHS cancer plan was published in 2000 to improve cancer services, and this was followed by the cancer reform strategy in 2007, when figures showed that although improvements had been made, the gap in survival rates had not closed.

The National Audit Office, which scrutinises public spending on behalf of parliament, looked at how effectively three of the strategy’s recommendations had been in improving services to …

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