COMMUNICATIONS NEWS: Macmillan calls on Government to act on 'spending flaws'

Macmillan Cancer Relief will present the results of its survey into NHS cancer services to the Secretary of State for Health next week to highlight "systematic flaws" in the management of Government money.

The survey, which is part of the charity's 'Get It Spent Where It's Meant' campaign, reveals that only 11 out of 20 Strategic Health Authorities were able to provide details of their planned cancer spend for 2003-4, despite record Government investment into cancer services.

Macmillan says the survey shows that most money is still being spent on staffing, drugs and equipment rather than ways to help improve the quality of life for patients.

The charity is now recommending urgent Government action to ensure that cancer money is spent effectively. They include improving how the NHS tracks investment in cancer services, and ensuring patient involvement in budget planning.

Macmillan hopes that the backing of MPs from all parties, who pledged to support the campaign when it launched earlier this year, will strengthen the impact of the survey.

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