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Northern Ireland Assembly hold pancreatic cancer debate

Posted by: Policy and campaigning 4 November 2014

A quick update from Campaigns and Policy Manager David about political pancreatic cancer activity in Northern Ireland:

Yesterday a debate about Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month was held in the Northern Ireland Assembly. You can read the Hansard transcript online here and watch the debate online. 13 Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs), including the Health Minister took part and speakers covered topics such as:

  • the need for an awareness raising campaign so people are more aware of symptoms
  • How patient care needs to be improved (there is currently only one HPB specialist nurse in the whole of NI)
  • Better access to drugs
  • The need to support patients' family members as well as the patients themselves
  • That calls for increased level of reseach funding into the disease are needed
  • More needing to be done to improve early diagnosis

We are pleased that many members also highlighted the role we [Pancreatic Cancer UK] play in helping patients and their families across Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK. Increased political awareness and participation will hopefully lead to better patient treatment and care in future.

Thank you again to Tom Buchanan and Paula Bradley for tabling the motion and leading the debate, and also to all MLAs who spoke. Finally, a big well done to Kerry Irvine and others for lobbying so hard to make sure the debate took place.