It Is All About Manifestos - Campaigning Update Friday 14th June

4 min read



There is still time to register to join us for tomorrow’s campaigning webinar which is at at 18:30.

All you need to do is email me, please put 'Campaigning - Zoom invite please' in the subject line - and by return I will send you a Zoom link to join us on the 18th.

Much discussion this week has been around the release of the party manifestos which, of course, we will scrutinise to see what threads we can pick at in the next Parliament.

The Lib Dems have committed the NHS to ensuring that 100% of cancer patients receive treatment following urgent referral within 62 days.

Other health commitments that they made in their manifesto were:

  • An expansion of MHRA capacity to include timely access to innovative technologies and ringfencing future budgets for digital technologies
  • The introduction of a “Patients Charter” which enshrines the right to a second opinion and secure data transfer

In the Conservative manifesto, they have pledged to:

  • Support research into new treatments, including for Parkinson’s and motor neurone disease and secure more commercial clinical trials
  • "Support our world-leading life sciences sector, embracing the opportunities provided by Brexit to pursue nimble and agile regulation, supported by a well-equipped MHRA."

Turning to Labour:

  • As part of their life sciences plan they commit to developing an NHS innovation and adoption strategy in England. "This will include a plan for procurement, giving a clearer route to get products into the NHS coupled with reformed incentive structures to drive innovation and faster regulatory approval for new technology and medicines."
  • Labour will also seek to  maximise our potential to lead the world in clinical trials. "This means making the process more efficient and accessible, by speeding up recruitment and giving more people a chance to participate through the NHS app."

Of course these represent the manifestos from the three main parties at Westminster - we will be looking at the manifestos from other parties next week.

May we quickly remind you just how valuable photos of you with our manifesto and your Prospective Parliamentary Candidates are. This one shows Matthew Wilson with Laurence Robertson. Mr Robertson was the MP for Tewkesbury until the election was called and is standing for re-election. Email me and I'll send you a printed copy of our manifesto so you are 'good to go' when a photo opportunity arises.

Of course you could take any opportunity to raise awareness and grab a photo with a celebrity you 'bump into' like this one of me with our Patron Alfie Boe.

As we know all too well one in three people knows someone who has been affected by a brain tumour so as well as creating a social media opportunity you could be connecting us to someone who'll, like you, become an advocate and campaigner for Brain Tumour Research.

Alfie is touring at the moment and we have the fantastic opportunity to have collection tins at all dates - thank you so much Alfie!

Brain Tumour Research this week attended the launch of the Northern Ireland Cancer Charities Coalition (NICCC) in Stormont, Belfast. It was a fantastic opportunity to speak to Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs) - including the Chair of the All Party Group (APG) on Cancer - about the benefits of working in coalition and about Brain Tumour Research’s key priorities in Northern Ireland.

We attended a packed APG on Cancer meeting, in which NICCC Interim Chair Richard Spratt presented an update on the formation of the coalition. Addressing the meeting Richard said that the foundational purpose was to support people living with cancer and to develop a cohesive voice around the top line issues.

The news of the coalition was positively received by members of the APG. Members said that it was an opportunity to work together to improve outcomes. New Chair, Stewart Dickson MLA thanked the outgoing Chair, Paula Bradshaw MLA, for her work and said that the founding of the coalition represented an important moment for the sector.

There was also an excellent report by Action Cancer on patient satisfaction, presented by Dr Caroline Hughes and Dr Dan Middleton. Dr Hughes said that the key areas for improvement were mental health support and access to community services. The report can be accessed here: Your Cancer Journey Your Experience Initial Findings - Action Cancer

Health Minister Mike Nesbitt later spoke at the reception, saying that cancer was “personal” to him, and mentioned the passing of his grandmother from cancer. He said that it wasn’t “dignified” and it was “pretty horrible.”

Mr Nesbitt said that there were three words by which his Department could be judged: “For…Better…Outcomes. If we’re not delivering those, we may be doing a lot in terms of inputs and outputs but if the outcomes are not right, then what’s the point?”

The Minister also thanked those present for the support to deliver the vision as set out in the Northern Ireland Cancer Strategy, saying: “That Strategy provides a real opportunity that cancer services provided in the future deliver the best possible outcomes.”

He ended by affirming his commitment to his new role. “I wanted this job. I want this job. I’m going to make a difference in this job with your help.”

After the event Thomas said: “Overall it was a fantastic day at Stormont. We have started the conversation with elected representatives about ensuring better outcomes for the cancer community in Northern Ireland. This is just the beginning, but together we can make a difference. We also need to be having a wider conversation about research. Currently there’s no coherent research strategy in Northern Ireland – this urgently needs addressing.”

We are really looking forward to our campaigning webinar. Hopefully see you on Tuesday at 18:30.

Hugh and Thomas

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