The plan for Ten years to save children from cancer diseases has been revealed .
NHS leaders have vowed to save 500,000 more lives through a ten-year plan that will see DNA-tailored cancer treatment for children – despite warnings that it faces a £1billion hole in this year’s budget.
The world-first promise is unveiled today as part of a long-awaited plan for the health service.
It follows Theresa May’s pledge to hand the NHS an extra £20billion, but a senior policy analyst at the Nuffield Trust think tank has warned the NHS will be still be short because of pay rises and growing patient numbers.
Sally Gainsbury told the Times: ‘The combined impact of staff pay rises, inflation and growing numbers of patients mean it will face a cost pressure of £7.3billion.
‘That would leave the NHS over £1billion short, despite the extra funding.’
Writing in the Daily Mail today, Chancellor Philip Hammond has already warned the health service must drastically improve efficiency to ensure the cash isn’t wasted.Mr Hammond, who had reservations over supplying the money, says: ‘The public hates waste in the NHS and quite rightly want to know that their taxes are spent effectively, to deliver excellent front-line services to patients.’
It is a sign of the lingering tensions between No 10 and the Treasury over the issue, with the some in the Treasury worried about repeating the waste of the New Labour years.
As well as the pledge to sequence the genomes of every child with cancer, doctors will also carry out genetic testing to identify patients with an inherited condition that gives them dangerously high levels of cholesterol.
And the latest artificial intelligence technology will be brought in to better diagnose when patients have suffered a stroke – to ensure they get the right treatment quickly.
At the same time, digital GP consultations – on smartphones or tablets – will be made available to everyone who wants them as officials try to slash long waits for appointments.
NHS chiefs believe the plan, which is being funded by Theresa May’s pledge to hand the NHS an extra £20billion, will save half a million lives over the next decade.
Today, the Prime Minister and NHS leaders will reveal the full details of the NHS blueprint at an event in Liverpool.
One of the most eye-catching measures is the move to offer whole genome sequencing to around 1,800 seriously-ill children a year with cancer or rare genetic conditions to develop more personalised medicines.
Patients will be asked to consent for their genomes data – complete DNA sequences – to be analysed to develop new tests and treatments for cancer and other diseases.
Last night, Emma Greenwood, of Cancer Research UK, welcomed the ‘ambitious’ plans.
She said: ‘Being able to offer children with cancer gene testing as part of their care means more children will benefit from better access to precision medicines.’
Boosted by Mail readers, Finn finishes chemo at last
For almost half his life six-year-old Finn Martin has known little apart from chemotherapy and hospitals.
But on Saturday the child who was the face of the Daily Mail’s Quids for Kids campaign was finally able to declare that his cancer treatment is over. Finn and his family rang an ‘End of Treatment’ bell as they reached the top of the London Eye ferris wheel to mark finishing chemotherapy.
The boy, who was diagnosed with leukaemia at three and a half years old, had spent so long battling the disease that he could not remember when he did not have it.