Select Committee on Science and Technology Minutes of Evidence

Further supplementary memorandum submitted by the Department of Health

  In his letter of 19 December to Ian Gibson, the chairman of the committee Sir John Pattison enclosed copies of the colour coded research networks and also gave the detailed figures for Government spending on Cancer Research. I think this covers the first two queries in your letter.

  Your letter requested our current estimates of the Research Networks' staffing requirements. Of the 34 Cancer Networks, nine became research networks in April last year and a further nine became research networks in October. Their staffing requirements vary and are outlined in the strategic plan which they submit to the National Cancer Research Network Co-ordinating Centre for approval before being accepted as a Research Network and receiving core funding. The remaining 16 networks are at varying stages of making their application for acceptance to be a Research Network and their staffing requirements are not yet known.

  Your letter specifically asked about the level of spending required to match European spending on cancer services. Last November the Government published the interim report from Derek Wanless, Securing our Future Health: Taking a Long-term View. The report notes that the Department of Health has estimated that to deliver the NHS Cancer Plan standards aimed at matching England with the best European standards will require spending of an additional £1 billion a year spread equally across screening, treatment and equipment.

  You asked for further details regarding the Statutory Instrument following PIAG's considerations on 10 December. Draft regulations to be laid under Section 60 of the Health and Social Care Act 2001 are currently the subject of a public consultation exercise which ends on 31 January. It is intended that the Patient Information Advice Group will then submit its advice on the regulations to the Secretary of State for Health and that the statutory instrument will be laid before Parliament in February. These regulations will be subject to annual review.

Professor Mike Richards,

National Cancer Director

21 January 2002

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