Write to your local politician

Help us represent patients throughout the year! Early diagnosis and improving the survival rate of pancreatic cancer is a challenge and we still have a long way to go. It can sometimes feel difficult to know the best way to help and how to make a difference. One of the simplest ways of campaigning is by contacting your local politician.

How can contacting my local politician help?

Your local politician is there to help with matters that central government are responsible for. This includes the health service and policies that affect pancreatic cancer. Your local politician represents the concerns of their constituents, this is on average around 70,000 people. Therefore, your local politician is likely to receive a lot of communication and its important to have a simple and powerful ask. 

It also helps if local politicians receive communication from multiple constituents. Asking local family and friends who share your concerns to write may help to amplify your voice. 

Different ways of contacting your local politician

What shall I write about?

When contacting your local politician, you can discuss the issues about pancreatic cancer that concern you, but also let them know how they can get involved.

Current concerns include:

  • Survival rates for pancreatic cancer are under 8%, early diagnosis is key to survival
  • The recent drop in GP referrals for pancreatic cancer
  • Unless services can be restored, the backlog of non Covid patients will result in excess deaths and a huge ongoing challenge for NHS services that are already under intense pressure
  • Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month- you can ask what they;re doing, and if not anything, why?

You can ask them to:

  • Join the APPG for pancreatic cancer 
  • Raise issues in parliament and help PCA in our calls for a public health campaign to raise awareness of cancer symptoms during the Covid-19 pandemic. 
  • Write to the relevant NHS bodies and advocate for pancreatic cancer patients at a time when their voices risk being forgotten.
  • Help clarify how cancer hubs will provide diagnostics, surgery and treatments for pancreatic cancer patients and the long-term plan for managing cancer services alongside Covid and during the recovery phase

Different ways of contacting your local politician

Write a letter

One of the best and easiest ways to campaign with us and raise the profile of pancreatic cancer is by writing a letter to your local politician.  

If you feel daunted by the idea of writing a letter, you can use our local politician template letter and adapt it to highlight your personal interest, meaning your local politician may pay greater attention to it. 

Twitter @OfficialPCA

With many public figures using Twitter, tweeting your local politician is an easy and personal way to engage with them.

When tweeting it’s best to:

  1. Show how pancreatic cancer has affected you personally
  2. Try to get a dialogue going by asking them a question
  3. Highlight the facts and statistics of pancreatic cancer and ask them to get involved
  4. Use links, for example our website: www.panact.org
  5. Use Hashtags, for example #PancreaticCancer

Read our How To Use Twitter guide

By phone

Very few people lobby their local politician by phone but it can be a great way to get heard and initiate discussions.  If you decide to call them, prepare in advance what you want to say and keep it concise to include, at most, your top concerns or issues.

Face to face

All local politicians hold constituency surgeries, usually on a Friday. Though sometimes weekends and evening slots are available. You can phone or email your MPs office to arrange a date and time to meet them.  

Final tips!

Meeting your local politician

If you decide to meet with your local politician, then it is a good idea to plan what you want to say to them beforehand. They are unlikely to be well informed about pancreatic cancer and therefore you may need to lead the conversation and explain your concerns. You can take them some of Pancreatic Cancer Actions awareness materials to help you make your points and give them something to take away. It is also a good idea to take a pen and notepad to take notes on your conversation.  

Follow up!

If your local politician does agree to act on the issues you have raised remember to thank them. At this point you may want to organise another meeting to develop ideas with them about what more can be done to progress the issue. 

And remember, if they have not done what they had agreed to do, contact them to ask them if they are still intending to carry out what they had agreed and if there’s anything you can do to. 

If you would like any further help or would like to get in touch, please call us on 0303 040 1770 or email comms@panact.org.