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Radiographers welcome cancer early diagnosis but ask: "Where is the money?"

20 October 2014

The healthcare professionals who carry out diagnostic imaging scans that detect tumours and provide the radiotherapy that destroys them has welcomed Labour Party plans to deliver cancer diagnosis in seven days.

However, the Society and College of Radiographers has said it is unlikely that the target can be met “without substantial ongoing funding.”

Richard Evans, the Society’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “This is a wonderful aspiration and one that we and other professional bodies have been saying for many years should be standard practice across the NHS.”

He continued: “The Labour Party claim the money is going to come from a levy on the tobacco companies.  Is this tax going to be a one-off? We need much more detail of what the actual investment is going to be, how it is going to be applied consistently across the NHS, and what steps will be taken to ensure that it is not a one-off flash-in-the-pan to grab votes at the next general election.”

The Society and College has said that it will work with all political parties to increase timely access to diagnostic services and radiotherapy. The organisation says that it is not just more money that is needed but innovative thinking is required about how services are delivered before it will be possible to deliver improved waiting times.

“Demand for diagnostic services is rising by 10% year-on-year but the workforce required and the investment in new equipment is not keeping up with the number of patients who need and expect these services,” Richard Evans commented.

“A seven-day test-to-diagnosis target has to be delivered consistently in all four countries of the UK. Is this latest promise realistic? We and others need to discuss how it will actually happen.”

ENDS

Notes for Editor

1. The Society and College of Radiographers represents 28,000 people who work in diagnostic imaging and radiotherapy for the treatment of cancer. More than 19,000 radiographers work in the NHS. 2. Nine out of 10 patients see a radiographer during their time attending hospital. 3. For further information please contact Dominic Deeson on 0795 784 5238 / 01227 469060

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