Dr Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what progress he has made in tackling the backlog of cancer cases resulting from covid-19 outbreak; what steps he has taken to cover the shortage of specialist cancer nurses; what steps he will take to encourage trainee nurses to become specialist cancer nurses; and if he will make a statement. 
[Due for Answer on 23 September. Answered on 27 September.]
HOLDING ANSWER: The Department of Health and Social Care has indicated that it will not be possible to answer this question within the usual time period. An answer is being prepared and will be provided as soon as it is available.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Prevention, Public Health and Primary Care (Maria Caulfield): Data for July 2021 shows fewer than 19,000 people waiting longer than 62 days for treatment following an urgent referral for suspected cancer in England. This is a decrease from 35,000 in May 2020 and is just above pre-pandemic levels.
In 2021/22 Health Education England will continue to take forward the priorities outlined in the Cancer Workforce Plan. Training grants are being offered for 250 nurses to become cancer nurse specialists and 100 nurses to become chemotherapy nurses.