This week the Government announced a national targeted lung cancer screening programme for people aged 55 to 74 at high risk of lung cancer.
Lung cancer has one of the lowest survival rates. It is often diagnosed at a late stage when treatment is much less effective and we are determined to improve diagnosis and treatment. This rollout follows a successful opening phase which saw more than 2,000 people detected as having cancer; 75% at an earlier stage compared to only 29% in 2019 outside of the programme.
The programme will be rolled out over time and is expected to deliver almost one million scans, detect cancer in as many as 9,000 people annually, and provide treatment earlier.
This is really positive news and I am delighted that as we approach the NHS’ 75th anniversary we are finding new ways to support people with their health.
Even as we are investing in new services we have to ensure there is access across the board and this includes to NHS dental services.
Ensuring patients can access NHS dental services is something on which I am very focussed and we are very aware of practices ending NHS treatment.
Changes to the NHS dental contract were announced last year which gave NHS dentists fairer payments for delivering complex care.
I hope that these are effective – they were welcomed as a major step in the right direction. However alongside other Sussex MPs, I am due to meet the Sussex NHS Integrated Care Board to hear from them the work they are undertaking to improve access. The ICB recently held a listening event with dentists and I am very keen to hear how changes to the dental contract have helped and what more needs to be done.
Following up on previous meetings I am also due to meet with local dentists to better understand the local challenges and solutions. In addition to the work that is being done locally, the Government will shortly be publishing a plan to increase access with a further focus on the NHS dental contract. Conversations are ongoing with the British Dental Association and others regarding additional reforms of the NHS Dental System planned for this year to make sure everyone gets the access they need.