Cancer charity scuppers NHS support claim

A leading cancer charity has denied that charities are propping up the NHS after a report claimed that cancer care relies heavily on funding from the voluntary sector.

The report, written by a team of health economists, suggests that between £25m and £38m of cancer care funding comes from charity and £38m to £55m from the public sector.

"In our case, we  fund onlyservices that the NHS would not provide," said Stephen Richards, director for London, Anglia and the south east at Macmillan Cancer Support. "We want to provide added value to cancer sufferers.

"We work very closely with the NHS, and we've done so for many years. But we're absolutely not in the business of replacing NHS services.

"If we jointly invest with the NHS, it's because we want to improve the quality of care over what it can achieve."

Richards said he would like to see more funding for hospices from the NHS, and less from private donors.

Dr Bruce Morland, chair of the Children's Cancer and Leukaemia Group, which is majority funded by Cancer Research UK, said charities made a significant contribution to services for children with cancer.

"The authors of this report rightly point out the need to keep this under regular review and balanced with regard to NHS contribution," he said.

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Macmillan Cancer Support

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