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The next five years...

We’re getting ready to work with a Conservative majority government for the first time in 18 years. We discuss what this means for people affected by breast cancer, and share some facts and figures about our own campaigning.

The election is well and truly over and as we write this from Breast Cancer Care towers, the Prime Minister is preparing for the Queen’s speech. We’re getting ready to work with a Conservative majority government for the first time in 18 years. Before we launch into what this means for people affected by breast cancer, we wanted to share some facts and figures about our own campaigning in the run-up to the general election.

Breast Cancer Care volunteers hosted five local question time events with 88% of local candidates participating.

More than 80 people attended our local events and we also had great online engagement with a reach of more than 350,000 people on Twitter.

Our manifesto was sent to candidates in two-thirds of all constituencies.

Our online action was really popular; over 1,239 messages were sent to candidates.

A big thank you to all those who took part. If you didn’t get involved in our general election work but do want to get more involved in future Breast Cancer Care campaigning opportunities, now’s your chance to sign up to be a member of our campaigns network.

The new government and cancer

And now, back to the Conservatives. As well as remembering the crucial issues we raised in our Breast Cancer Care manifesto (improving care for secondary breast cancer, ensuring women have timely access to fertility services, and making sure all breast cancer patients receive support to cope with altered body image), there are other issues we’ll be keeping an eye on, making sure that the needs of people affected by breast cancer are included.

The Conservatives will continue to focus on ensuring that more needs to be done to improve England’s standing on cancer outcomes in relation to the rest of Europe, and working to achieve their long-stated ambition of being the best in Europe when it comes to cancer outcomes. The review of the long-term future of the Cancer Drugs Fund and the new cancer strategy will both continue, most likely without much change in direction. Breast Cancer Care will continue its involvement in the review of the Cancer Drugs Fund and will also work to ensure that the cancer strategy has a focus on some of our key campaign areas, including the needs of those people with secondary breast cancer.

One of the commitments in the Conservative manifesto is that there will be a recruitment drive in the health workforce. An anticipated 9,500 more doctors and 6,900 more nurses will be recruited or retained and we’ll work to ensure that, as part of this, more patients with secondary breast cancer get access to the support and expertise they need from dedicated secondary breast cancer nurses.

The social care agenda

There will be continued focus on the integration of health and social care services. Given the growing number of people living with breast cancer, and with the growing focus on survivorship, the long-term needs of those living with and after cancer is more important than ever. The social care agenda was largely led by Liberal Democrat colleagues in the coalition government, especially Norman Lamb. So Alistair Burt, the new Care and Support Minister who takes over the mantle, has big shoes to fill.

We’re interested in hearing your thoughts about the new Conservative government and about the opportunities and challenges you see lying ahead. Leave a comment here, or get in touch with us at campaigns@breastcancercare.org.uk

And remember, if you want to get more involved in future campaigning opportunities with Breast Cancer Care, sign up to our network now. Getting involved doesn’t require any political knowledge, just the desire to make changes and improvements for people living with and affected by breast cancer.

Join our campaigning network

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