To mark the start of parliament week we hosted a parliamentary drop-in session with Nic Dakin MP. Parliamentary drop-in sessions are an opportunity for Members’ of the House of Commons and House of Lords to come and find out more about the issues surrounding pancreatic cancer.
The session was well attended by MPs, some of whom knew very little about pancreatic cancer. We took the opportunity to give MPs information about the recommendations from our roundtable inquiry; Hope for the future: tackling inequalities in pancreatic cancer care.
The report highlighted the differences in care for pancreatic cancer patients compared to patients with other types of cancer across the UK. Below are the key recommendations from the report are listed below:
- Introduction of a national clinical audit for pancreatic cancer; unlike Scotland and Wales there has been no national clinical audit undertaken in England. Such an audit would help make it clearer what leads to differences in the outcomes of patients with pancreatic cancer in the UK.
- Changing attitutdes to pancreatic cancer; Whilst it is true that survival rates for pancreatic cancer are still incredibly low, it is not helpful to view it as a lost cause. Specifically; the importance of encouraging people with the signs and symptoms to visit their GP. It was also noted that increasing optimism for a change in the survival statistics is critical to increasing funding and resource access to pancreatic cancer care.
- Making NICE methodology more flexible; It was argued that current NICE methodology does not give enough weight to incremental improvements in poor prognosis cancers.
- Closer work with the pharmaceutical industry; It was suggested that patient groups, clinicians and the pharmaceutical industry work closer together, developing more treatments and encouraging greater investment in pancreatic cancer.
- Highlighting the benefit of investment in pancreatic cancer to others; Attendees suggested that showcasing the benefit of increased research in pancreatic cancer may be of benefit to other cancers, hopefully encouraging more investment for pancreatic cancer.
A copy of the original inquiry report can be found here.
We would like to thank all the MPs who came to find out more about pancreatic cancer and what they could do to support our efforts. We would like to thank Nic Dakin MP, in particular, for hosting us and his continued championing of the fight against pancreatic cancer.