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Cancer: Mental Health Services

Volume 486: debated on Tuesday 20 January 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what assessment he has made of the extent to which good psychological support services are available throughout the cancer journey; (248452)

(2) what progress he has made towards introducing a national cancer survivorship initiative.

The “Cancer Reform Strategy 2007” set out plans to ensure that people living with and beyond cancer receive the care and support, including psychological support, that they need to enable them to live as healthy and active a life as possible. A copy of the strategy has already been placed in the Library.

Elements of this are being taken forward through the National Cancer Survivorship Initiative, which was formally launched in September 2008. It is co-chaired by Mike Richards, the Department’s National Cancer Director, and Ciaran Devane, the Chief Executive of Macmillan Cancer Support. Seven workstreams have been established and have already started work.

As set out in the report “Cancer Reform Strategy—Maintaining momentum, building for the future: first annual report”, a priority for the coming year is to ensure that cancer patients benefit from the expansion and development of psychological therapies. A copy of the report has already been placed in the Library.