Lansley’s cancer policy in confusion

The Conservative's approach to cancer guarantees appeared to be in confusion today. Andrew Lansley said that patients would see a specialist within two weeks.

The Conservative’s approach to cancer guarantees appeared to be in confusion today after Andrew Lansley said that patients would see a specialist within two weeks despite his party pledging to scrap the NHS guarantee that would do precisely that.

Answering a question on the BBC’s Daily Politics Election Debate from Branwen Jeffreys, Andrew Lansley put his party’s policy in confusion:

JEFFREYS: “If you have a suspected cancer, will you be see someone within two weeks?”

LANSLEY: “Yes you will”

NEIL: “But you told me in another interview, Andrew Lansley, that that wasn’t a commitment any more.”

The Tory manifesto says, “We will give patients more choice and free health professionals from the tangle of politically-motivated targets that get in the way of providing the best care.” More recently, William Hague said on the Campaign Show:

“We are not going to have a whole lot great system of guarantees and targets, we are going to have a system that performs … rather than dictating what everybody will do

The Labour government is committed to guarantees to see a cancer specialist within two weeks while the manifesto promises, “Legally binding guarantees for patients including the right to cancer test results within one week of referral, and a maximum 18 weeks’ wait for treatment or the offer of going private.”

Watch it:

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7 Responses to “Lansley’s cancer policy in confusion”

  1. House Of Twits

    RT @leftfootfwd Lansley's cancer policy in confusion as he commits to 2-week cancer consultation http://bit.ly/9Wy16S

  2. Robert

    Of course, going back a few years to the start of the MMR/(false) link to autism story the Conservatives were playing the story along nicely saying they would offer parents the choice of single shot jabs instead of MMR.

    They added credibility to the junk science and so helped reduce the take-up of MMR.

    Now more children are getting these vile illnesses.

    We cannot trust the Conservatives to handle health threats to life either in childhood or adulthood.

  3. JC

    I’m confused about this “Legally binding guarantees for patients including the right to cancer test results within one week of referral, and a maximum 18 weeks’ wait for treatment or the offer of going private.”
    Who pays the fine if the guarantee is broken? Is it the taxpayer, the NHS, the minister (on expenses) or is someone jailed for a few weeks (NHS executive, doctor, whatever)? Either way, it doesn’t seem enforceable, and if that is so, what is it worth?

  4. Will Straw

    Hi JC,

    Good question. My understanding is that the penalty is that you have the right to go private if the guarantee isn’t met. I believe the cost would come out of the Health budget

    Best wishes,

    Will

  5. JC

    So the taxpayer pays for NHS incompetance and the available budget is decreased. Doesn’t sound fair to me. How about jail for the people responsible, otherwise it’s just spending someone else’s money with no consequences.

  6. Anon E Mouse

    Will – Is this the best your site can offer as criticism of the Tories?

    It is so over for the Labour party you can smell it. Watching Mandelson last night was truly nauseating – it was awful. Can you not come up with a single positive pro Labour message at all?

    It’s not just Gordon Brown with his head in his hands dude…

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