On the floor of the House of Commons this afternoon, South Lakes MP Tim Farron secured the agreement of Health Secretary Matt Hancock to meet with members of the Catch Up With Cancer campaign amid fears of a national cancer emergency.
It comes as new analysis from the charity Action Radiotherapy reveals that the backlog of cancer patients still waiting for potentially life-saving treatment could be as high as 100,000.
Speaking in Parliament, Tim said: “Has the Secretary of State seen today’s analysis revealing the terrifying scale of the backlog in cancer treatment and diagnostics?
“It is now clear that it would take the system operating at 135% capacity for six whole months just to catch up with where we were in March.
“Until then the tragic reality is that people in my constituency and around the country will unnecessarily be losing their lives.
“So, I beg him to urgently meet with the clinician-led Catch Up With Cancer campaign so that we can give him the solutions to boost cancer services and save tens of thousands of lives.”
In response, the Health Secretary said: “Yes, I’m very happy to meet with the campaign.
“Of course, I’ve seen the reports. I feel very strongly about this.
“We have worked very hard to get through the backlog and we are making progress against that backlog.
“But nevertheless, anything we can do speed that up I’m happy to look at and so look forward to listening to the details of what we can do.”