Former Conservative health secretary Andrew Lansley has bowel cancer, and called on the government to improve the NHS’s current screening programme for the disease.  Funny, I remember the last time I had a conversation with the Minister, I asked him why it was the NHS was so behind the rest of Europe in screening?  And what was he going to do to improve this?

Looking down his nose, he patronisingly told me “it’s not the NHS’s way”.

Lord Lansley, who served in the cabinet under David Cameron, has recently confirmed he has stage 3 bowel cancer, but has said there is “every reason to hope” he will survive the illness long-term.  I wonder if he thinks that IF the NHS had copied Europe, he would probably have been diagnosed much earlier.

As health secretary, he helped launch the “bowelscope” screening programme for people over 54, but government cuts, a lack of endoscopists and problems with IT systems have hampered the system’s delivery, currently only available to around half of the population, However, he has a mega-salary in his current job, so why didn’t he ‘go privare’?

BBC presenter George Alagiah also has this variant, and has called for the NHS to reduce the age of screening for the disease to 50. Lansley also said the government should invest in better screening tests. Bit late for him to wake up.

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