The Cancer Reform Strategy and UK government publications in cancer control, 1995-2006

Here is a guest contribution to the blog from François Briatte a researcher at Edinburgh University, who is examining contemporary cancer policies in France and the UK. Find out more about his work, via his blog or email him at:

On December 3rd, the Department of Health released the Cancer Reform Strategy, under the auspices of National Cancer Director Professor Mike Richards and the Cancer Reform Strategy Advisory Board.

The policy document fits in a list of national initiatives from several UK governments towards the improvement of cancer control. The Cancer Reform Strategy comes as an adjunct to the NHS Cancer Plan of 2000, which itself draws on the propositions for reform exposed in the Calman-Hine report, from the name of the Chief Medical Officers of England and Whales who supervised its production in 1995. Cancer has been a priority for New Labour governments since the publication of the Saving Lives: Our Healthier Nation White Paper in 1999, which established targets for the National Health Service.

In the last fifteen years, governmental initiatives in cancer control have drawn on policy reports and advice from several non-governmental sources:

National cancer control programmes have received a great deal of support in publications by international organisations, such as the World Health Organization which published Policies and Managerial Guidelines for such programmes, and the World Bank, which recently encouraged the tackling of chronic illnesses in its recent report Public Policy and the Challenge of Chronic Noncommunicable Diseases. The European Union has been especially active in the fight against cancer by launching several Europe Against Cancer programmes in the 1980s and 1990s, the latest of which resulted in the publication of the European Cancer Code.

Intute: Social Sciences features more resources on the issue of health policy and has browse sections on Health Services and the Public Administration of Public Health and Safety.