I’m standing shoulder to shoulder with our NHS staff

At the recent Labour Party conference here in Liverpool I backed an appeal from Cancer Research UK for more NHS staff to deliver the life-saving cancer tests and treatments people need.party conf - Stand with the NHS against cancer

Its Shoulder to Shoulder Against Cancer campaign calls for everyone to stand with the NHS, and urges the government to tackle the chronic shortage of staff who diagnose and treat the disease.

Every year, around 2,700 people are diagnosed with cancer in the Liverpool area and as the population grows and ages, that number will rise.

More staff are urgently needed to keep up with the demand for life-saving tests and treatments, yet already 1 in 10 NHS diagnostic posts are unfilled.

The earlier cancer is detected, diagnosed and treated, the better people’s chances of surviving. But we need the crucial NHS staff to make sure that happens.

Many of us have been affected by cancer in some way, and 1 in 2 of us will be diagnosed in our lifetimes.

That’s why I’m backing Cancer Research UK’s call to stand shoulder to shoulder with the NHS against cancer.

To speed up and improve cancer diagnosis and treatment, investment is needed in key professions, including radiographers and radiologists who carry out and interpret scans such as MRIs, endoscopists who look inside the body by inserting a tiny camera and pathologists who look for abnormal cells, as well as oncologists (cancer specialists), nurses and surgeons.

The government has promised to publish its long-term plan for the NHS later this year, which will also include a roadmap for the NHS workforce over the next decade. That is the opportunity to show its commitment to defeating cancer by putting the staff that are needed in place.