Response to Calls to Produce a Cross-Government Plan to Reduce Poverty and Tackle Health Inequalities
Tenovus Cancer Care today fully supports the Welsh NHS Confederation Health and Wellbeing Alliance, in partnership with the Royal College of Physicians (RCP), in calling on Welsh Government to produce a cross-government plan to reduce poverty and tackle health inequalities based on the shocking findings of the Mind the gap: what’s stopping change? report.
It is only by reducing poverty and tackling health inequalities generally that we can effectively address the widening gap in cancer outcomes between people in Wales’s most and least deprived communities. People are currently 20% more likely to develop and die from cancer in our most deprived communities and that cannot be allowed to continue.
With the cost-of-living crisis expected to intensify into the autumn there is a real danger the deprivation gap in cancer deaths will widen further, not only meaning greater loss of life but extra pressure on our NHS services, which are already under great strain due to the continuing Covid-19 pandemic.
Welsh Government needs to introduce a long-term, detailed strategy for cancer services moving forward in line with other UK nations to address the inequalities in cancer outcomes as a matter of urgency. There also needs to be commitment to introduce lung cancer screening in Wales, which is predicted to prevent more than 20% of lung cancer deaths amongst those screened and improve outcomes for many more patients.
Lung cancer is presently the largest loss of life from any cancer in our most deprived communities - our recent report calls for action to tackle inequalities and improve outcomes for people with lung cancer in Wales.