HC Deb 18 May 2004 vol 421 c965W
Bob Spink

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what progress has been made in removing regional variations in the(a) diagnosis and treatment and (b) outcomes for prostate cancer. [173086]

Miss Melanie Johnson

The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) 'Improving Outcomes in Urological Cancers' manual was published in September 2002. It aims to ensure that all patients have access to a uniformly high quality of care in the community or hospital no matter where they live. Cancer networks across England are currently drawing up action plans to implement the guidance. Progress in implementing the guidance will be assessed during the next round of peer review due to start later this year.

In addition, as part of the prostate cancer risk management programme (PCRMP), all general practitioners in England have bean sent an evidence-based resource pack to help them counsel men worried about prostate cancer. The PCRMP is reducing geographical variation across England by: standardising guidelines for GPs; standardising information for patients; and providing explicit quality standards for prostate cancer testing.