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Death: Barnet

Volume 470: debated on Thursday 24 January 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what progress has been made in improving mortality rates in Barnet for (a) cancer, (b) heart disease and (c) stroke; and if he will make a statement. (178069)

Cancer mortality rates can be found in the following table, which gives the age-standardised mortality rate from cancer, for all persons aged under 75 years in Barnet for the years 2002-06:

Age-standardised mortality rate from cancer1, all persons aged under 75 years2, in England, strategic health authorities and primary care organisation3, 2002-064

Rate per 100,000 (persons)

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

Barnet

100

105

105

101

99

1 Cause of death was defined using the International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision (ICD-10) codes COO to C97.

2 Age-standardised rates are used to allow comparison between populations which may contain different proportions of people of different ages.

3 Based on boundaries as of 2007. The 152 primary care organisations include 148 primary care trusts (PCTs), and four care organisations (COs).

4 Figures are for deaths registered in each calendar year.

The Department is committed to reducing the mortality rate from cancer. Major progress has been made over the past 10 years and especially since the publication of the National Health Service Cancer Plan, which set out the first ever comprehensive strategy to tackle cancer and was the first time any Government had drawn up a major programme of action linking prevention, diagnosis, treatment, care and research. Significant achievements include:

extending breast screening to women aged 50 to 70 years. The number of new cancers diagnosed through breast screening has increased by over 60 per cent.;

rollout of the bowel cancer screening programme—the first programme to target both men and women;

major reductions in waiting times for patients with suspected cancer referred urgently by their general practitioner’s (99 per cent. seen within 14 days, up from 63 per cent. in 1997);

over 99 per cent. of patients receiving their first cancer treatment within one month of diagnosis (the 31 day target);

over 97 per cent. of urgently referred patients being treated within two months of referral (the 62 day target);

expansion of the cancer work force; and

provision of unprecedented numbers of new equipment.

With regard to heart disease and stroke, the information requested is not held centrally. However, the Department’s target as set out in “Our Healthier Nation” is to reduce deaths from cardiovascular disease (coronary heart disease and stroke and related diseases) by 40 per cent. in people under 75 by 2010 has been met five years early. The mortality rate has fallen 40.3 per cent. between 2004-06 over the 1995-97 baseline.