NHS trusts to receive funding for cancer testing and detection technology

Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust are among the 78 organisations that will be given a share of the funding.
By Leontina Postelnicu
08:49 AM

Seventy-eight NHS trusts in England are to receive funding to purchase, replace and upgrade cancer testing and detection technology during the next two years as part of the government’s commitment to improve screening rates and enable earlier diagnosis.  

WHAT HAPPENED

Prime minister Boris Johnson announced last month that £200m would be set aside to ensure that machines are easier and faster to use. The pledge includes funding for CT and MRI scanners, to help switch to alternatives with lower radiation levels, and breast screening imaging and assessment equipment.

The Department of Health and Social Care said on Wednesday (30 October) that the allocations were made according to an evaluation of the existing local infrastructure and population need.

Global Digital Exemplars Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, a HIMSS EMRAM Stage 6 site, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust and Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust are among the trusts set to benefit from the funding announced.

Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust, which Healthcare IT News recently visited, is also on the list.

WHY IT MATTERS

The NHS has long been plagued by concerns around the use of outdated technology. It is expected that the upgraded equipment will help boost cancer survival rates and lead to faster diagnosis.

Although the number of people surviving cancer in the UK has increased in recent decades, a paper published in Lancet Oncology in September found that the figures still lagged behind those of other high-income countries, including Denmark and Norway.

THE LARGER PICTURE

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), there were an estimated 9.6 million deaths from cancer in 2018. Employing prevention strategies and avoiding risk factors could help to prevent between 30 to 50% of cancers, the organisation says.

ON THE RECORD

“This new state-of-the-art equipment for 78 trusts across England will ensure doctors and clinicians can help even more people survive a cancer diagnosis and stop the disease as early as possible,” said health and social care secretary Matt Hancock. “It’s mission critical that the techology our NHS uses to prevent and diagnose cancer is brought into the 21st century,” Hancock added.

Cally Palmer, NHS England national cancer director, said: “Cancer survival is at a record high thanks to better prevention, earlier diagnosis and world-leading treatments in the NHS.

“This major investment in the best modern scanning technology will benefit patients in every part of England, helping us to achieve the NHS Long Term Plan’s ambitions of catching tens of thousands more cancers earlier when they are easier to treat, saving 55,000 more lives every year.”

The full list of trusts can be found here.