HC Deb 24 February 1964 vol 690 cc22-3
15. Mr. Boyden

asked the Minister of Health what gaps stiff exist in' the National Cancer Registration Scheme.

Mr. Barber

Though improvement continues, registration in some parts of the country is still lower than I would wish, and I am considering what special steps I can take to speed up improvements.

Mr. Boyden

Surely these gaps ought not to exist now. When the right hon. Gentleman's Department held a conference on this subject last year and the difficulties were put forward by the records officers of the regional hospital boards, what steps were taken by his Department to remedy them?

Mr. Barber

Obviously one difficulty, which I am sure will have occurred to the hon. Gentleman, is that in the very nature of things the number of cases which should be registered but which are not cannot be known and, therefore, deficiencies, in regions cannot be accurately assessed. After that conference had taken place, a working party was set up to consider the present organisation and techniques of regional cancer registries and it is still considering the matter. I agree with the hon. Gentleman that this is an important subject, and I hope that we can do better.