Recent research suggests that the NHS is now much more successful in treating cancer than we had previously thought. A study by the British Journal of Cancer shows not only that death rates have fallen very significantly but that these improved results have been achieved at less cost than in other countries.
The best results are those for men aged between 50 and 74 where death rates have reduced by nearly one third. Death rates for women have declined by a little less – around 19%. It now seems that we are doing much better than many other countries such as Germany, USA, Spain, Japan and France. More than 35,000 have survived cancer since 1980 that otherwise would have died.
It was previously thought that results were not as good in England and Wales as among our European neighbours. These recent statistics suggest that the NHS is in fact relatively efficient and effective at treating cancer, despite the fact that in my own practice I regularly come across serious mistakes causing devastating outcomes. Even with the best care people make mistakes.
The government has claimed that NHS failures contribute to between 5,000 and 10,000 unnecessary deaths from cancer per year. It has used this claim as a reason for its radical plans to change the way care is provided. In fact the new research suggests that the government is wrong and that our NHS is in fact providing very good value for money. Paul Sankey is a solicitor specialising in clinical negligence. If you or a member of your family have a clinical negligence enquiry please call our expert clinical negligence solicitors on 0800 916 9049, fill in our short online claim form or email firstname.lastname@example.org and one of our specialist clinical negligence team will be in touch.