NHS praised for cancer care during pandemic

NHS staff have been praised for providing vital tests and treatment to tens of thousands of cancer patients during the coronavirus pandemic.

Speaking as the Clatterbridge Cancer Centre in Liverpool opened, Sir Simon Stevens, chief executive of NHS England, said it was a testament to the key workers that 50,000 people were able to continue cancer treatment in March and April even as hospitals were hit with the first wave of the virus.

The new facility in Liverpool, which will treatments including pioneering immunotherapy and the most advanced forms of radiotherapy, is part of a £162 million investment to transform cancer services in Merseyside and Cheshire, a region where people are more likely to develop the disease than almost anywhere else in the country.

Stevens said: said: “This new hospital will provide world-class care to people with cancer across the region and it is timely as it will also help to support the NHS response to the pandemic by allowing vital tests and treatment to go ahead in a safe space.

“NHS staff have done everything in their power to make sure that the NHS can continue to care for patients who needed treatment and this has happened, which is testament to their incredible hard work and dedication. We know that people have been anxious about coming forward for checks during the pandemic but now is the time to get checked – it could save your life.”

Liz Bishop, chief executive of the Clatterbridge Cancer Centre NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Clatterbridge Cancer Centre – Liverpool is the culmination of an eight-year project for transforming cancer care in a region with one of the highest rates of cancer in the country. It brings state-of-the-art facilities, novel treatments and research together to improve outcomes and save lives in Cheshire and Merseyside at a time when one in two of us will get cancer in our lifetime.”

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