IPEM responds to 10-Year Cancer Plan consultation

A RESPONSE to a consultation on the 10-Year Cancer Plan for England has been submitted by IPEM.

The consultation from the Department of Health and Social Care is to help inform the development of the cancer plan for how the government intends to lead the world in cancer care.

Several IPEM Special Interest Groups and the Radiotherapy Professional Standards Panel (RTPSP) provided input to the consultation response.

There were three areas which IPEM commented on:

  • How to get more people diagnosed quicker included suggestions around the Community Diagnostic Hubs to start rapid MRI screening, better support for patients with implants who need MRI scans, and the funding of accelerated MRI techniques.
  • How to improve access to experiences of cancer treatment included suggestions about ensuring there is an adequate supply of medical radionuclides for both diagnostic and therapeutic purposes, supporting centralised funding for a country-wide replacement programme for radiotherapy equipment, and an initiative to increase access to new Artificial Intelligence technologies for radiotherapy.
  • How to maximise the impact of research and data regarding cancer services focused on IPEM’s concerns around workforce shortages, especially in radiotherapy and the diagnostic radiology and radiation protection areas.

Professor Andrew Reilly, Director of IPEM’s Science, Technology and Engineering Research and Innovation Council, said: ‘This was an important consultation to respond to and I am grateful to all the members of the various Special Interest Groups and RTPSP who provided such detailed input to it.

‘The response once again highlights the workforce shortages faced by the medical physics and clinical engineering community. We all know there are staff shortages right across the NHS but we really do need to see those in MPCE addressed because of the potential impact on patients.

‘One thing that really struck me was it would be worth the Department of Health and Social Care exploring the model employed by NHS Scotland, where a comprehensive and fully-funded radiotherapy equipment replacement programme has existed for a number of years.’

DHSC 10 Year Cancer Plan response