Tell Us What You Know

3 min read


It is nearly time to vote but there will still be opportunities for some last minute campaigning, so please do remind your PPCs to pledge to declare brain tumours a clinical priority and to act on that pledge should they be lucky enough to become your constituency representative.

In case you missed it last week here is the link to our campaigning webinar held on the 18th June.

It is absolutely our intention to hold more of these in the coming months and we hope that you will be able to join us – they will be entertaining, informative and will boast special speakers and guests.

When you get next Friday's update in your inbox we will have a new make up of MPs at Westminster – for some it will be a familiar journey to work but for very many it will be the beginning of an adventure. 

We are nearing the next stage of our political strategy with our plans for MP engagement  but as we move forward we have to review what we have done so far.

Please tell us how the run up to the election has been for you as a brain tumour campaigner. Did you like and use the assets we provided, who have you engaged with and how did it go (and do send photos if you have them) and crucially was there anything else you would have liked? 

What is now so vital is that when the results come through you let us know if there is something specific about your MP that may make them more likely to support our cause?

This could be having worked in the NHS or having a scientific background, perhaps they have declared their own personal cancer stories or have been affected by premature loss – all of this information will help us draw up a list of new Westminster 'targets' and give us the threads to tug at post July 4th.

As we have written before progress made won't be lost but new relationships will need to be established and your help in pointing us in the right direction will be invaluable.

Soon the Prospective Parliamentary Candidate template letter available on our website will be replaced by a new letter aimed at new MPs with the same ask just worded slightly differently.

Remember our campaigning mantra; 'People cannot support a cause unless they know it exists' - brain tumours exist, a cure does not, we will campaign until it does.

Along with our partners in the Wales Cancer Alliance, Brain Tumour Research met with the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Services of Wales, Eluned Morgan (Ty 5B MTR in the photo above) this week.

Lowri Griffiths, Chair of the Wales Cancer Alliance, welcomed the Cabinet Secretary’s commitment to holding ongoing meetings and for keeping cancer a priority.

The Minister said that Welsh Government still needed to improve its cancer performance outcomes. She had made it clear to Chief Executives of Health Boards, in their newly established monthly meetings, that cancer will continue to remain a top priority.

The Cabinet Secretary also talked about taking a “hands-on approach” to improving the cancer journey for patients in Wales. Earlier in the day she had visited a multi-disciplinary team in Cardiff to better understand the pathway for colorectal cancer.

With regards to the life sciences, Ms. Morgan spoke about wanting to personally direct the relationship with industry. She said that the Life Sciences Hub had a big role to play in propelling inspiring life science innovations into frontline use, adding: “Part of my mission is to also build confidence for investment in the life sciences in Wales.”

Finally, we discussed the financial hit that many families face as a result of their child’s cancer diagnosis. Colleagues mentioned that families often travelled long distances to access specialist treatment. The Cabinet Secretary said: “In terms of equity, as we move to more specialised centres, we need to make sure that people can get there. I've raised it with Health Boards previously but it needs addressing at a national level.”

We appreciate the hands-on approach the Cabinet Secretary is taking to understand and improve the cancer journey for patients in Wales, in particular for children and young people. 

This week Thomas spoke to former Cabinet Minister and Labour grandee Harriet Harman at a meeting discussing the priorities of the next Government. She spoke about the need for government departments to work together, stating that “the silo mentality is both debilitating and unproductive”. 

She urged attendees, representing the private sector and third sector, to work in tandem with the next government. “Tell them what the sector needs in clear and simple terms. This will lead to them doing worthwhile things.”

Speaking specifically about brain tumour research, Ms Harman said that the big question will be how to unlock the potential for more research and development. She said that a better relationship with Europe and harnessing the power of universities were key to this. 

I was struck by this article I read on LinkedIn this week. Government's $600m boost to Pharmac - what's in it for brain cancer patients? | LinkedIn

Written by Chris Tse, a Kiwi I admire and have met on several occasions, what struck me was the similarity in his messaging for an audience in New Zealand to that we use in our UK focused campaigning. Chris writes: "So while we rejoice alongside the cancer community at the government's medicines funding announcement, we reflect on the sad reality that brain cancer will likely be left out again." We are the other side of the world but so much of what Chris say rings true in the UK. It is through the extraordinary work of the IBTA (for whom Chris is a Senior Advisor) that we aren't alone working in isolation – no, we are a community wanting worldwide change.

As we approach a week of change in the UK thank you for all of your support in the General Election campaign. 

There will be the usual campaigning update next Friday.

Wishing you all a peaceful time until then.

Hugh and Thomas

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