31 March 2022
An independent expert panel appointed by the House of Commons Health and Social Care Select Committee has today published a report evaluating the Government's progress on cancer services commitments in England.
The British Society for Immunology previously responded to the external consultation that fed into this report and has released the following statement in response to its publication.
The British Society for Immunology has been cited extensively in a report released today by an expert panel that has rated the progress that the Government has made on its cancer services commitments as 'inadequate'.
The independent expert panel was appointed by the House of Commons Health and Social Care Select Committee and sought external views in a consultation earlier this year. Its remit was to evaluate progress by Ministers against a series of cancer services pledges that spanned areas including workforce, diagnostics, living well with and beyond cancer, and technology and innovation, with CQC-style ratings.
The report highlighted our view that the Government’s approach to cancer services was so far being undermined by the lack of additional funding needed for immunotherapy research to unleash its true potential. Immunotherapy treatments represent a shift change in how we treat cancer and, if nurtured effectively, could join surgery, chemotherapy and radiation as one of the main types of treatments, offering real benefit to patients with cancer. The expert panel also agreed that cancer immunotherapy and clinical trials are ‘a crucial part of the cancer treatment pathway’.
The expert panel’s report is part of a wider inquiry by the Health and Social Care Select Committee into cancer services, to which the British Society for Immunology has also submitted evidence, which will report next month. We are working closely with our partners at the National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI) to make sure that cancer immunotherapy research is being represented at the highest level.
The full report from the House of Commons Health and Social Care Select Committee's independent expert report 'Expert Panel: evaluation of the Government’s commitments in the area of cancer services in England' can be viewed here.