DoH must secure cancer support

Four in five GPs think the profession will need support to design cancer services under GP commissioning, a survey shows.

The poll from the charity Cancer Campaigning Group (CCG) found 82 per cent of 817 GPs believe practitioners will need specialist advice when commissioning services. The charity called on the government to secure funding for cancer networks - the pool of 28 expert bodies that give commissioning advice - until at least 2014.

Health secretary Andrew Lansley had refused to guarantee funding past 2011/12, saying the decision would be left to the NHS Commissioning Board.

Charities warned that GPs would find it 'impossible' to commission cancer services without the networks. The CCG report added: 'We also look to the NHS Commissioning Board to ensure that the expertise currently held in cancer networks is retained for the longer term.'

The charity wants a consultation with the cancer community when plans for commissioning are developed. It also wants GP consortia to be given access to improved data on cancer outcomes to aid service design.

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