UCL News


UCL academic Chairs independent cancer services panel

31 January 2022

Professor Dame Jane Dacre (UCL Medical School) is leading an independent Parliamentary review evaluating the UK Government’s commitments to improve the delivery of cancer services in England.

Professor Dame Jane Dacre

Set up by the cross-party Health and Social Care Committee, Dame Jane has been Chair of the politically impartial Expert Panel since August 2020, with the aim of assessing government pledges in different areas of healthcare policy.

The panel gives Care Quality Commission-style ratings on the government’s performance in meeting policy commitments, grading them from “inadequate” to “outstanding”. The independent and objective evaluation is designed to enhance the select committee’s core task of holding the government and ministers to account.

For the latest evaluation, five specialists from different areas of cancer services have been appointed, bringing their subject specific expertise and experience. The specialist members have been working alongside the core members of the Expert Panel to identify a set of government commitments made in cancer services and evaluate the UK Government’s progress against them. 

The panel has issued an open call for written submissions specifically addressing the question of the extent to which the chosen targets have been met. The government will be invited to provide its own evidence of achievement or progress towards the targets.

Dame Jane, who is Professor of Medical Education at UCL, said: “Government pledges are often made in a blaze of publicity. This process, based on collecting and evaluating evidence helps us to make a judgment on how well a selection of pledges have been met.

"Expert Panel members are all independent of government and are known for their skills and experience, and also for ‘speaking truth to power’. It is challenging, but also intellectually stimulating and rewarding to lead the evaluations.”

The panel will produce a report with a rating against each chosen target, using the scale used by the Care Quality Commission - Outstanding/Good/Requires Improvement/Inadequate. It will also make an overall rating of the government's progress towards its commitments in the chosen policy area.  

The Expert Panel’s first report, published in July 2021, evaluated Government progress against its policy commitments in the area of maternity services in England.

In December 2021, the second report was published, an Evaluation of the Government’s progress against its policy commitments in the area of mental health services in England. Both the reports concluded the UK Government’s overall progress in meeting its commitments ‘requires improvement’.



Media contact 

Henry Killworth

Tel: + 44 (0) 7881 833274

E: h.killworth [at] ucl.ac.uk