On 29th September, our team were in Belfast meeting with a number of members of the Northern Ireland Assembly (called MLAs). Throughout the day, our Head of Campaigns and Policy, David Park, our Northern Ireland Community Involvement Coordinator Michelle Penney, and our amazing supporter Victoria Poole, made MLAs aware of the appalling pancreatic cancer survival statistics. They also talked about the need to improve treatment and care for pancreatic cancer patients, and the need to boost awareness of the disease, especially throughout November as part of Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month (PCAM).
The team distributed copies of our new Diagnosis Manifesto for Northern Ireland, which sets out a ten point plan calling for, amongst other things:
- Greater research funding looking into ways to diagnose pancreatic cancer at an earlier stage
- A pancreatic cancer awareness campaign
- Better training and support for GPs
- Faster referral pathways.
The manifesto highlights the need for the patient experience to be improved throughout the whole diagnostic process, including the way that a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer is communicated to patients and their families and with regard to what information and support they are offered.
You can download a copy of the Manifesto here, along with a fact sheet about pancreatic cancer in Northern Ireland.
Thank you very much to Kieran McCarthy MLA, Jo-Anne Dobson MLA, Tom Buchanan MLA, Basil McCrea MLA, Oliver McMullan MLA and Cathal Ó hOisín MLA for taking the time to meet with our team and also for their pledges of support and assistance in future.
We will be holding further meetings and events across the whole of the UK over the coming months to make the case for change amongst politicians and policy-makers. In particular, we will be holding events in the UK’s Parliaments and Assembly buildings to mark PCAM and we will report back on all these activities in due course.