Following a meeting today with Macmillan Cancer Support, with whom I have been working very closely since I became an MP, I have joined the All Party Parliamentary Group on Cancer.
All Party Parliamentary Groups (APPGs) are informal, cross-party groups formed by MPs and Members of the House of Lords who share a common interest in a particular policy area, region or country. The All Party Parliamentary Group on Cancer (APPGC) aims to be the voice in Parliament of cancer patients and their families, and campaigns on multiple issues, including early diagnosis, workforce, rarer cancers and patient experience. Macmillan Cancer Support provides the secretariat for the group.
I was pleased to hear from Macmillan that the capacity issues for cancer patients in hospitals in London now seems to be largely resolved, and they paid tribute to the fantastic work that The Royal Marsden does as a hub here locally. I speak regularly with the Marsden's Chief Executive, Dame Cally Palmer, and I know just how hard she and her team work on behalf of people living with cancer and all those affected.
According to research by Macmillan, there are around 110 people living in the constituency with undiagnosed cancer, and I am working with the charity to look at how we can encourage more people to seek diagnoses and treatments whilst we continue to battle the coronavirus pandemic. It was great to hear that, since Macmillan launched their new campaign around getting support, calls to their help and advice line have increased by 21 per cent. If you have questions about cancer support and treatment, please do visit Macmillan's website or call the Macmillan Support Line on 0808 239 69 62.
We discussed the importance of the National Cancer Services Recovery Plan, and the need to address the backlog of disruption to services as well as a renewal before the plan draws to a close. We also spoke about the hugely important role played by the cancer workforce, both within and alongside the NHS, and the urgent need to look at how we increase the numbers of people working in this vital space. I welcome the Government's commitments to train and recruit 25 per cent more doctors and nurses every year. That is roughly 1,500 more doctors, and 5,000 more nurses being trained on the NHS, and the Government is working closely with universities to ensure that our higher education sector is prepared to train a new generation of recruits. Additionally, I am happy to say that there are over 50,000 nurses already in training, and the introduction of the new Nursing Degree Apprenticeship and nursing associate roles will significantly bolster the nursing workforce in the short term, as we continue to build an NHS workforce for the future.
We also spoke on a range of other factors affecting people who have been diagnosed with cancer and those who care for them, including the increased costs involved to them personally.
I have pledged my support as a new member of the APPG Cancer, and I am pleased to continue to work alongside Macmillan - as well as many other brilliant cancer charities - to press for greater support for people affected in Carshalton and Wallington. We await the outcome of the upcoming Budget from the Chancellor, and I have already made representations to him on behalf of cancer patients and their families.
Thank you as ever to Emma Stevenson and Bekki Smiddy from Macmillan Cancer Support for their valuable time, as well as to Callum Murphy - who has joined my team as part of a placement programme through his degree at Queen Mary University of London - for note-taking.