Page last updated at 14:53 GMT, Friday, 14 September 2012 15:53 UK

Adjournment debate

John Baron, Conservative MP for Basildon and Billericay, introduced the debate on outcomes for cancer patients in the NHS on 14th September 2012.

Mr Baron said despite improvements, Britain still lagged behind other European countries in survival rates for cancer patients.

Mr Baron described as a "national disgrace" the situation that up to a quarter of cancers were only detected when a patient was admitted to a A&E.

He called for a measure of one-year and five-year survival rates to be published by healthcare trusts, in order to improve outcomes for patients.

Replying for the government, Health Minister Anna Soubry said that the government's cancer strategy sought to halve the gap between survival rates in the UK compared to the best in Europe by 2015.

Mr Baron had called for survival rates for all types of cancer to be measured separately, but Mrs Soubry said that the government's policy was to use a composite measure including a number of cancers. Pressed on the matter she promised to discuss it further with Mr Baron.

The government has invested £450m through its cancer strategy to improve early diagnosis, and says that modernising the NHS should close the gap in cancer survival rates between the UK and the best-performing health systems in the world, saving 5,000 more lives every year by 2015.

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