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Danni Manzi, our Head of Policy and Campaigns, looks forward to our influencing and campaigning opportunities for the coming year.
2015 was such a big year for our influencing and campaigning but we want to go even bigger in 2016. We’re looking ahead and thinking about all we want to achieve this year.
We’re listening closely to people affected by breast cancer and working with other charity partners to influence the new proposals on the Cancer Drugs Fund in England. We’ll contribute to the Scottish Government review of the way the Scottish Medicines Consortium has evaluated end-of-life medicines. In Wales, we’re influencing equal access to drugs and treatments across all health boards. We want to make sure that, wherever people live, they get the treatments they need.
We’re making sure breast cancer remains on the political agenda through our parliamentary and assembly activity. Two parliamentary events are planned for the beginning of the year; one to raise awareness of the needs of black, Asian and minority ethnic women and another to mark World Cancer Day on 4 February. We’ll support people to meet their politicians by giving them training and information. And we’ll continue to lobby and influence decision makers in the run-up to the May elections in Scotland and Wales.
Our campaigners Emma and Frances meeting Jeremy Corbyn at the Labour Party Conference
We’ll keep going with our campaign on secondary breast cancer across England, Wales and Scotland. In England and Wales we’ll continue to push for national data collection. And we’ll work with the Scottish Government to turn the data estimate we secured in 2015 into a clearer picture across the country. A national figure of diagnosis rates is the first step towards narrowing the gap in treatments and care between primary and secondary breast cancer.
In 2015, we created a vibrant campaigns community who are passionate about making change locally and nationally for people affected by breast cancer. 2016 will see expansion of our campaigns community through peer support, training and information.
We’ll keep an eye on the cancer strategy and the progress made towards achieving its goals in England. We will work with colleagues across the cancer sector to make sure that this aspiration becomes reality. We’ll also influence the new cancer plans in Scotland and Wales. And we’ll monitor the effectiveness of the proposed new cancer structures in Wales.
The cancer strategy in England highlights the need to put patient experience on a par with clinical effectiveness, something we endorse across all the nations. We’ll continue to influence the content of the Cancer Patient Experience Surveys in England, Scotland and Wales to gain further insight into the quality of care and support received by breast cancer patients. This evidence will support our influencing work in all areas throughout 2016.
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