Today, the Queen set out the Government’s priorities for the next year
This morning the Queen opened the third session of the 2010-15 Parliament with a speech in the House of Lords.
Her speech was written by the Government, and outlined its legislative agenda for the upcoming parliamentary session (which will last roughly a year).
And over the next couple of days, both Peers in the House of Lords, and MPs in the House of Commons will debate its contents.
Cancer Research UK takes a great interest in the Government’s plans, and how we think they will affect cancer patients and research into the disease.
So what are the key points for us from this speech?
Dan Jarvis with our Cancer Awareness Roadshow nurses
Dan Jarvis is the Member of Parliament for Barnsley Central and a Shadow Minister for Culture, Media and Sport. Here he shares his story about why he’s running a Marathon for Cancer Research UK.
Three years ago, after a long battle, my first wife Caroline died of bowel cancer.
This Sunday, along with hundreds of others, I’ll be running the London Marathon to support Cancer Research UK.
Caroline was first diagnosed in 2006 and had an operation to remove the cancer. She was diagnosed again in 2007 and had a further operation, again carried out by the same brilliant surgeon, who effectively saved her life. But the cancer came back in the spring of 2008.
We always hoped for the best, but it was a dreadful time. Caroline herself was always incredibly positive about her ability to beat the disease. She was brave and graceful throughout.
But tragically she died in July 2010.
Her death led me to end my career in the Army, and spurred me to become an MP. Balancing being an MP with looking after small children is very difficult, but possible thanks to the fantastic support of family and friends, and now with my partner.
The Chancellor has delivered his fourth Budget
The Chancellor, George Osborne, presented his fourth Budget today, against a backdrop of poor growth and declining poll ratings for his Party since last year’s Budget.
Many of us are feeling the pinch in these harsh economic times – including many affected by cancer.
Here’s our reaction to the budget as it affects us at Cancer Research UK.
John Baron MP opening the conference
Tuesday was a particularly busy day for our Policy Department, as the 14th annual Britain Against Cancer conference was held in Westminster.
The conference is organised by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Cancer (APPGC), a group of MPs and Lords with an interest in cancer policy. All the big hitters in cancer policy were there, including the Secretary of State for Health (Jeremy Hunt MP), his opposite number (Andy Burnham MP) and former National Cancer Director Professor Sir Mike Richards, who is now the NHS Commissioning Board representative responsible for reducing premature mortality, including cancer.
We were also pleased to invite three of our volunteer Cancer Campaigns Ambassadors who attended sessions and asked key questions of the speakers on behalf of us all. Continue reading
What will the new NHS Mandate mean for patients?
Since coming to power in May 2010, the UK’s coalition government has begun to roll out some far-reaching reforms of the way the NHS works across England.
Without getting too caught up in their finer details, a key feature of the new-look English NHS is the new NHS Commissioning Board, which will oversee how a whole range of local bodies work together to commission care for their communities.
And the Government will periodically set the Board’s exact objectives and aims via what’s known as the Mandate, which we discussed here a few months ago.
Yesterday we were at the Department of Health for the launch of the first Mandate, which will set the Board’s priorities for two years, starting from April 2013.
A second document was also published yesterday – an updated NHS Outcomes Framework for the next year (starting in April 2013), which complements the Mandate by providing an overview of how well the NHS is performing.
We’ve been poring over these two hugely important documents, to find out how they’re likely to affect things for cancer patients. Here’s our first take on things.
Changes are afoot in the NHS – what will they mean for cancer patients?
How would you spend £80 billion of taxpayers’ money to ensure that our healthcare services remain among the best in the world?
That’s the challenge faced by the new NHS Commissioning Board, which is set to be formally established in just a few days, on the 1st October.
The Board is being created as a result of the much-debated Health and Social Care Act 2012, and is set to oversee how a host of new local and regional bodies such as Clinical Commissioning Groups will serve the healthcare needs of their communities.
Yesterday was the last day of an important public consultation about the proposed priorities and aims of the NHS Commissioning Board. To make sure the new NHS meets the needs of people with cancer, we submitted an in-depth response to this consultation to the Government.
The full document can be found here , and we’ve summarised exactly why this consultation matters for cancer patients in this article.
Nearly nine out of ten patients said their care was ‘very good’ or ‘excellent’
Last Friday, the Department of Health published the results from the fourth National Cancer Patient Experience survey. The survey is a good thing – we’d like the government to do it every year. The results are extremely useful, especially for those who run NHS services.
The survey asks patients a wide range of questions about their experience. For example, did they receive written information about their cancer? Were they given a choice of treatment? Did they have the name of their Clinical Nurse Specialist?
The headline results of the survey are very encouraging. Overall 88 per cent of cancer patients rated their overall care as ‘excellent’ or very good’, and 98 Trusts improved on their results last year.
While this is good news, we’ve delved deeper into two key issues for us: research and early diagnosis – to see if the good results hold up in these areas too.