Scottish Labour Party Conference 2023

For the first time, Pancreatic Cancer Action attended the Scottish Labour Party Conference which was held this year in the Assembly rooms in Edinburgh between the 17th and 19th of February 2023.

Anas Sarwar
Pictured above, left, Heather Archbold, (PCA Health Information Executive) centre, Anas Sarwar, (Leader of the Scottish Labour party) & right, Megan MacDonald (PCA Public Affairs and Policy Executive)

The team spent the weekend raising awareness of pancreatic cancer, lobbying MPs, MSPs and Councillors, and asking them to support our four key policy asks for Scotland.

Our four key policy asks are:

  1. Support our cost-effective proposals to improve early diagnosis and save lives in Scotland.
  2. Urgently invest in diagnostic equipment and the NHS workforce.
  3. Empower our community pharmacists to detect cancer and make direct referrals to cancer pathways.
  4. Invest in dedicated pancreatic cancer symptom awareness campaigns.

Each of these policy asks were supported by detailed, evidence-based proposals to improve early diagnosis of pancreatic cancer. For example, a proposal under our first policy ask included expanding the existing Lung Health Checks offered by NHS Scotland to cover a pancreas scan for high-risk groups, which will help catch pancreatic cancer cases earlier. And it only adds 10 -15 seconds to the overall procedure.

We truly believe that implementing these four policies and their detailed proposals will allow for an earlier diagnosis of pancreatic cancer, which in turn will save lives.

We had a great reception from all the politicians and delegates in attendance, who were keen to raise awareness of the symptoms of pancreatic cancer, take our proposals forward and make the 2020s the decade of change for survival rates!

We also spent some time speaking to the other exhibitors and thinking of collaborative ways we can work together to raise awareness of pancreatic cancer and have some exciting ideas that we hope to share with you all soon.

Jackie Baillie
Pictured above, left, Heather Archbold, (PCA Health Information Executive) centre, Jackie Baillie, (Deputy leader of the Scottish Labour Party and Co-Convenor of the Cancer Cross-Party Group) & right, Megan MacDonald (PCA Public Affairs and Policy Executive).

Our inflatable pancreas caught the eye of many party members. Those that stopped at our stand were interested in chatting with us to find out more about pancreatic cancer, as well as the chance to have a special purple tunnock’s tea cake with us, and there were also those that were looking to fundraise to support us in our mission to improve early diagnosis and save lives.

A special mention must be made to all those who took the time to share their stories of lost loved ones.

We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and would like to thank all those who took the time to learn more about the deadliest cancer in Scotland. We look forward to working together to save lives through early diagnosis!