Pancreatic Cancer Action, alongside more than twenty other charities, has contributed to the Cancer Research UK election manifesto. This document identifies joint priorities in cancer care for the next government to address.
Working together with other charities allows our voices to travel further and to be heard by all the political parties campaigning in the upcoming election. It also means we can highlight key issues in the manifesto affecting diagnosis, treatment and management of all cancers to have the greatest impact on patients.
What the recommendations mean for future cancer survival
Whatever the result of the general election, the recommendations provide a starting point for the next government to make use of the opportunity that the NHS Long Term Plan represents. These targets are designed to help measure transformations in cancer and to support commitments in the plan to increase cancer survival in line with comparable countries.
The recommendations made in the manifesto
The recommendations are based on four key areas as highlighted in the evidence collected; having the right level of staffing in the right places, diagnosing cancer early, treatment and psychological support and support outside of treatment.
The consultation has led to 12 recommendations to improve the clinical care patients receive as well as their experience;
1- Take immediate action to increase investment in training and educating the cancer workforce so staff can meet the demand for care
2- Fully commit to diagnosing 3 in 4 cancers at early stage by 2028 and publish a plan for what the target means for different cancer types
3- Ensure the successful roll out and sustained expansion of rapid diagnostic centres nationwide
4- Implement the recommendations outlined in Professor Sir Mike Richards review of national screening programmes
5- Improve access to treatments so that every person diagnosed with cancer is given the best chance
6- Prioritise the emotional and psychological needs of people diagnosed with cancer
7- Fully deliver on the NHS Long Term Plan commitment to provide stratified follow up care pathways for cancer patients
8- Protect cancer patients from unnecessary financial distress
9- Retain the UKs status as a world-leading location to conduct clinical trials
10- Prioritise association with the European Medicines Agency (EMA), in particular on the licensing of new medicines
11- Incentivise a step change in data collection for less common cancers
12- Sustainably fund stop smoking services
Why PCA supports the manifesto’s recommendations
Pancreatic Cancer Action fully supports the recommendations made in the manifesto. The emphasis on early diagnosis, staffing and holistic care that is personalised to patient’s individual disease and unique circumstances are particularly important to us. We are committed to campaigning for specific policy targets for early diagnosis of pancreatic cancer as supported in the manifesto.
We are also encouraged by the recommendations on parity of care and equal access to diagnostics, treatment and emotional support, especially in cancers like pancreatic where half of surveyed respondents said that they had one or more unmet psychological or support needs. The recommendations regarding research and medicines are important to ensure that world leading research continues in the UK, especially post Brexit. For pancreatic cancer and other less common cancers, research into new diagnostics and treatments is vital, as is ensuring that new medications can be available to patients as soon as possible and the manifesto stresses this.
PCA campaigning for the manifesto’s adoption
Increasing the early diagnosis and survival of pancreatic cancer requires many of these recommendations to be accepted by government and become policy. Pancreatic Cancer Action will campaign for the adoption of the manifesto and for specific policies for pancreatic cancer. Furthermore, we will continue to evaluate the impact of existing policies on pancreatic cancer and hold those in power to account.
Find out more about campaigning with us