A nurse looking at a woman with ovarian cancer during treatment

Public letter to Secretary of State regarding 10-year Cancer Plan

In February we, as part of One Cancer Voice, set out 10 tests that the new 10-year Cancer Plan must meet to be successful in delivering world-leading and transformative change for cancer patients. With the Plan due to be announced in the third week of Jul

On World Cancer Day, the government called for evidence to inform the development of a 10-year Cancer Plan. We joined the One Cancer Voice, a coalition of over 50 charities, to develop  recommendations on behalf of the millions of people living with cancer. We developed a consensus statement and set out the actions which the government and NHS need to undertake to ensure people diagnosed with cancer in England get the best care and treatment.  Today, we have put our name to a public letter to the Secretary of State to urge the government to take forward our recommendations. 

Annwen Jones OBE Chief Executive at Target Ovarian Cancer, said: 

We want everyone with ovarian cancer to have the best possible survival and care but currently we are a long way off from that. In collaboration with One Cancer Voice, we are signing this letter to the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care urging the government to meet the essential 10 tests so that the 10-year Cancer Plan fulfils the potential of its ambition to achieve world class outcomes for everyone diagnosed with cancer, including ovarian cancer.

With the 10-year Cancer Plan due to be announced imminently, it is vital that we remind the government of what it must do to achieve to be the world leader in cancer outcomes and experiences. 

Every day, a person dies every two hours because of ovarian cancer. We can and must do better. We want the government to hear our collective voice and implement the recommendations set out,  here.  

Read the letter: 

The Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP 
Secretary of State for Health and Social Care 
Department of Health and Social Care 
39 Victoria Street 

20th June 2022 

Dear Secretary of State 

As you consider the final detail of the forthcoming 10-Year Cancer Plan, we are writing, with One Cancer Voice, to urge you to ensure the plan meets the essential tests we set out in our submission as being essential to deliver on your ambition of having the best cancer care in Europe. The plan must include robust, fully costed and funded plans to deliver on its ambitions, and set out how it will address shortages in workforce and equipment – key hurdles that have hindered previous commitments and strategies. 

This 10-Year Cancer Plan could not be coming at a more important time for people affected by cancer in England. As you know, the devastating impact of the pandemic on cancer services continues to be felt, and growing waits for care stubbornly persist. Worrying new survey data from Cancer Research UK shows that 3 in 4 (75%) adults in the UK don’t think the NHS has enough staff or equipment to deal with cancer. With rising cancer incidence over the 10 years of this Plan, the challenge is only set to grow – meaning tangible, decisive action is needed now. 

We are incredibly grateful for your personal commitment to this plan, and have welcomed the engagement from you and your officials as the plan has been developed. In that spirit of constructive engagement, we believe it is important to reiterate the key tests to which the whole cancer community will hold this 10-Year Cancer Plan. These include: 

  • Fully planned, costed and funded: The power to truly transform the outcomes for people affected by cancer by 2032 is in your hands. To reach that potential, this plan must be visionary and set bold and stretching targets to achieve what really matters to people affected by cancer – preventing more cancers, diagnosing more cancers earlier and offering the best treatment and care tailored to the needs of every patient. In doing so you will also have the opportunity to deliver on your ambition to tackle health inequalities and truly harness the power of the UK’s world beating research and innovation to improve outcomes and experience. Ambition and vision must be underpinned by a clear, fully costed and funded plan for how we will get there. That means publicly announced objectives for how you will transform cancer outcomes and experience with timelines for implementation for each part of the plan, along with associated costing and funding.
  • No more shortages in the cancer workforce: Fundamentally, without investment in growing the cancer workforce to meet demand, to tackle backlogs, make more time for patients and drive innovation in cancer services the plan will not have the confidence of the cancer community. The plan must deliver on the existing Ministerial commitment that “the forthcoming 10-Year Cancer Plan will also ensure we have the right workforce in place.” That cannot be achieved without robust workforce modelling for the lifetime of the plan, matched by committed investment for at least the lifetime of the current Spending Review period.
  • Match ambition with accountability: The whole cancer community wants to see this plan succeed. To support you to deliver the ambitions of the upcoming plan, we need a transparent accountability framework with clear political leadership and annual assessment of progress. For accountability to be meaningful, it must include independent governance that involves the whole cancer community including cancer charities and people affected by cancer. 

Underpinning these three key measures is a more detailed set of ten important tests, developed by our One Cancer Voice coalition. We have shared these with you previously and they serve as the cancer community’s collective priorities for this strategy.

Right now, you have the opportunity to help bring forward a future where people affected by cancer in England have truly world leading cancer outcomes and experience. If the 10-Year Cancer Plan can meet these tests, we believe you will have taken the first great stride towards this. But the plan must meet these tests if it is to have the full support, belief and backing of the wider cancer community. Our collective response will be led by whether or not these tests are met. 

Yours sincerely, 

Jeannie Rigby
Action Bladder Cancer UK 

Rose Woodward 
Action Kidney Cancer 

Henny Braund 
Chief Executive 
Anthony Nolan 

Gemma Peters 
Chief Executive 
Blood Cancer UK

Genevieve Edwards 
Chief Executive
Bowel Cancer UK

Will Jones 
Chief Executive 

Sue Farrington Smith MBE 
Chief Executive 
Brain Tumour Research 

Baroness Delyth Morgan 
Chief Executive 
Breast Cancer Now 

Pamela Healy OBE
Chief Executive 
British Liver Trust

Jane Lyons 
Chief Executive 

Professor Frank Chinegwundoh MBE 
Cancer Black Care 

Robin Pritchard 
Cancer Care Map 

John Symons 
Cancer of Unknown Primary Foundation - Jo's friends 

Michelle Mitchell OBE 
Chief Executive 
Cancer Research UK 

Ashley Gamble 
Chief Executive 
Children’s Cancer and Leukaemia Group 

Marc Auckland 
CLLSA Chair of Trustees 
CLL Support Association 

Natalie Haskell 

Dr Jen Kelly 
Grace Kelly Childhood Cancer Trust 

Tina Seymour 
Chief Executive 
Hope for Tomorrow 

Samantha Dixon 
Chief Executive 
Jo's Cervical Cancer Trust 

Nick Turkentine 
Chief Operating Officer 
Kidney Cancer UK 

Anna Jewell 
Less Survivable Cancers Taskforce 

Zack Pemberton-Whiteley 
Chief Executive 
Leukaemia Care 

Fiona Hazel 
Chief Executive 
Leukaemia UK 

Stewart O'Callaghan 
Founder & Chief Exe 
Live Through This

Ropinder Gill 
Chief Executive 
Lymphoma Action 

Lynda Thomas CBE 
Chief Executive 
Macmillan Cancer Support 

Gillian Nuttall 
Chief Executive 
Melanoma UK 

Liz Darlison MBE 
Chief Executive Officer 
Mesothelioma UK 

Sophie Castell 
Myeloma UK 

Dr Anna Webb 
Myrovlytis Trust 

Tony Hebdon 

Alastair Richards 
North West Cancer Research

Victoria Clare 

Cary Wakefield 
Chief Executive Officer 
Ovarian Cancer Action 

Ali Stunt 
Pancreatic Cancer Action 

Diana Jupp 
Chief Executive 
Pancreatic Cancer UK 

Julie Worrall 
Penny Brohn UK 

Laura Kerby 
Chief Executive 
Prostate Cancer UK 

Sarah Quinlan MBE 
Charity Director 
Radiotherapy UK 

Mike Grundy 
Deputy Chief Executive 
Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation 

Richard Davidson 
Chief Executive 
Sarcoma UK 

Gail Jackson 
Chief Executive 
Solving Children’s Cancer 

Roshani Perera 
Tackle Prostate Cancer 

Annwen Jones OBE 
Chief Executive 
Target Ovarian Cancer

Kate Collins 
Chief Executive
Teenage Cancer Trust 

Alex Lochrane 
Chief Executive 
The Brain Tumour Charity 

Athena Lamnisos 
Chief Executive
The Eve Appeal 

Ian Boyd 
Executive Director 

Janet Lindsay 
Wellbeing of Women 

Rachael Gormley 
World Cancer Research Fund

Kathryn Scott 
Chief Executive 
Yorkshire Cancer Research

Rachel Kirby-Rider
Chief Executive
Young Lives Vs Cancer