The government has pledged an overhaul of cancer screening to help improve diagnosis and treatment of the disease.

Under the plans, £200 million of new funding will be made available for state-of-the-art, MRI, CT and breast cancer screening machines, under a drive to replace the oldest machines with new, cutting-edge technology.

More than 300 diagnostic machines will be provided in hospitals across England, to boost the quality of screening and speed of diagnosis.

The new machines, which are to be given to over 80 trusts across the country, will not only improve both efficiency and reliability but also patient safety – by lowering radiation levels by as much as 80%-90%, the government said.

The machines will also allow for the provision of different types of scans and will be AI enabled, to ensure they are AI ready when an update is available.

“I’m determined to get cutting-edge equipment into hospitals across the country so that clinical staff are equipped with the best technology available for patients,” said health secretary Matt Hancock.

“This will be the first step in reaching our ambition through the NHS Long Term Plan of becoming a global leader in cancer diagnosis, saving the lives of tens of thousands more people each year.”

Through the NHS Long Term Plan, the government has committed to diagnosing three quarters of cancers at an early stage by 2028 through improved screening processes, which it says will have “a dramatic effect on survival rates”.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has already committed an extra £2 billion to the NHS, including to upgrade 20 hospitals across the country and for new equipment and AI research.