Gillian Keegan MP fights for better cancer services in England

Chichester MP, Gillian Keegan, continued her campaign to improve cancer services in England when she spoke in a debate looking into Radiotherapy services (18th July 2019). The Chichester MP raised several concerns brought forward during the All Party Parliamentary Group for Radiotherapy’s evidence sessions.

Gillian focused her remarks on shortages of trained professionals in the field and called on the Government to do more to improve access to the profession. The Member of Parliament suggested that apprenticeships could be a good way forward and spoke about an already developed programme put forward by the Society of Radiographers. The MP also highlighted her concern with the current funding and commissioning structures but did praise the Department for Health’s recent investment of £130million to upgrade the Linac machines needed in radiotherapy.

The MP emphasised several times, throughout her contribution, the importance of radiotherapy as it is involved in treating half of all cancer patients. This is something she also raised with the former Prime Minister, Theresa May during Prime Ministers Questions.

The MP was joined by fellow APPG Vice-Chair who tabled the debate Grahame Morris MP (Labour), and APPG Chair, Tim Farron MP, (former Liberal Democrat Leader). The Group’s recent inquiry into current radiotherapy services across England has now concluded and a report will be published later this year to be presented to the Department for Health.

In closing the debate, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Seema Kenedy MP, thanked those who spoke and commended the work of the APPG. She went on to present the Government record saying: “Cancer is a priority for this Government, and we have got survival rates up over the last 10 years, but there is a lot more to do. In the long-term plan, we state our aim to have 55,000 more people surviving cancer for five years by 2028.”

The Minister in her response agreed to continue discussions with the group in further meetings.