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Cancer

Volume 461: debated on Thursday 21 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment she has made of the (a) epidemiological and (b) statistical correlation between incidences of cancer and (i) mining communities and (ii) iron and steel industry communities. (141049)

We are not aware of any departmental assessment looking at the epidemiological and statistical correlation between incidences of cancer in either mining communities or the iron and steel industry communities.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate her Department has made of the number of people who will be diagnosed with lymphoma in the next five years. (143739)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps her Department is taking to increase the number of lymphoma patients who are able to choose whether to receive their care at home or in a community setting. (143742)

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) published “Improving Outcomes” guidance for patients with haematological cancers, including lymphoma, in October 2003. This guidance covers all aspects of a lymphoma patient pathway, including providing supportive care in both a home and community setting. It is based on the best available evidence and has been put together after wide consultation, drawing on the views of patients and carers as well as the experts in the field.

The national health service has been required to set out action plans to achieve compliance with the NICE recommendations and has set key milestones for the delivery of the guidance. Implementation will be incremental and will be supported through the increased general funding being provided to the NHS. Implementation is being monitored by strategic health authorities and through peer review.

We have also provided £6 million of funding for the Integrated Cancer Care programme, which explored models of delivery to help all cancer patients get the best quality of care possible, and to find out the most effective ways to use resources.

This programme also supported patient choice by engaging patients more actively in decisions about their care. A final report, detailing the development of the programme and the key recommendations, was submitted to Ministers in spring 2007 and has been published on the Department of Health’s website at:

www.dh.gov.uk/en/Publicationsandstatistics/Publications/PublicationsPolicyAndGuidance/DH_074957

Additionally, as part of the development of the cancer reform strategy announced last November, we will be considering the most appropriate setting for the delivery of care for cancer patients.