Cancer funding to be slashed, MP claims

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FUNDING for cancer services in and around South Yorkshire is to be drastically cut back, Sheffield MP Clive Betts has claimed.

North Trent Cancer Network, responsible for providing treatment for cancer patients in Sheffield, Rotherham, Barnsley, Doncaster, Chesterfield and Worksop, is to lose a huge chunk of its annual funding, he said.

The North Trent service is one of 28 networks in England, which this year received combined government funding of £18.5 million. That will be cut to £10m, according to the Labour politician.

Mr Betts, Labour MP for Sheffield South East, said: “Cancer networks play a vital role in improving the quality of cancer care, by bringing hospital and community services together, sharing best practice and involving cancer patients and the groups that represent them.

“Our area has one of the highest levels of cancer incidence and mortality in the country.

“We have made huge progress in diagnosing and treating cancer in the last decade.

“Now this Government seems intent on destroying the foundations of better cancer services.”

Health Secretary Andrew Lansley last year promised to ‘fund and support’ the cancer networks, but Labour MPs say new budget figures for the NHS suggest the networks will actually lose out.

Each network employs up to 15 experts to advise hospitals on their cancer care.