Business of the House Debate

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Department: Leader of the House
Thursday 14th March 2024

(2 months, 1 week ago)

Commons Chamber
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Penny Mordaunt Portrait Penny Mordaunt
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Those are important services for any community, and the hon. Gentleman is right to raise concerns about what is happening in his constituency. It is fortunate that the Secretary of State for Levelling Up is on the Front Bench—he has saved me the stamp that it would cost to raise this matter with him—because his Department has done a lot of work to ensure that even though banking services might not have bricks-and-mortar locations, services can be retained in local communities, including communities that are very isolated and rural. I will take a belt-and-braces approach: I will write to the Secretary of State and ask his officials, who have put together guidance on best practice in this area, to contact the hon. Gentleman’s office.

Tom Hunt Portrait Tom Hunt (Ipswich) (Con)
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When Mark Murphy was a presenter at BBC Radio Suffolk, it is fair to say that we had a bit of a mixed relationship—he was probably the most robust questioner I have ever encountered. However, last September, he took over as the chief executive officer of Cancer Support Suffolk, and has done an exceptional job with his team. I visited that charity last week, and it has made some changes: people do not need to be referred by the hospital to go in and have a meeting, and it now supports family members, not just those with cancer.

One of the things that Mark raised with me, though, is that he thinks there should be national screening for prostate cancer and a level playing field for all forms of cancer, to make sure we catch it early, and that we should work with some hard-to-reach communities to raise awareness. Will the Leader of the House support me in that campaign, and recognise the work that Mark Murphy has done and how it could save lives in Suffolk?

Penny Mordaunt Portrait Penny Mordaunt
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I add my congratulations and thanks to those of my hon. Friend for those individuals who have done so much to improve services and the patient experience in his area. We have had some good news on cancer outcomes today. That is very welcome, and it is because of those people—their attention to detail and their efforts—that those achievements have been secured.

As my hon. Friend knows, diagnostics are absolutely critical to ensuring that people have good outcomes. That is why we have invested so much in the 160 new diagnostic test centres in a whole raft of therapy areas across the country. I will make sure that the Secretary of State for Health has heard about my hon. Friend’s particular interest in this area. We obviously have new opportunities to use data that the Department of Health and Social Care is collecting to ensure we improve patient outcomes everywhere.