Britain Against Cancer Conference

Britain Against Cancer was held on 6 December 2016 at Central Hall, Westminster.

Attended by over 430 delegates, the conference was addressed from high profile speakers including Chief Executive of NHS England, Simon Stevens, Community Health and Care Minister, David Mowat MP and the Shadow Secretary of State for Health, Jonathan Ashworth MP.

Delegates also heard from an expert panel including the National Clinical Director for Cancer at NHS England, Professor Chris Harrison.

The conference highlighted the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Cancer’s inquiry report on the England Cancer Strategy launched in September. 

Notes from the newly formed eight BAC Talk sessions, along with the expert panel and keynotes from the day can be found below:

APPGC

To improve cancer services, the APPGC debate key issues and campaign to ensure policy-making remains patient centred.

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Keynote speeches

John Baron, Chairman of the APPGC presenting at the Britain against cancer conference 2016. More info

John Baron MP, Chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Cancer:

John Baron opened the conference by welcoming all attendees and reflected on the work and activities of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Cancer (APPGC) over the last year.

John spoke about the APPGC’s inquiry into progress of the England Cancer Strategy, one year on. The inquiry received evidence from across the cancer community and heard from witnesses including the National Cancer Director at NHS England, Cally Palmer. John emphasised the importance of delivering the recommendations as set out in the England Cancer Strategy and noted that more work needs to be done to achieve the best outcomes for all those affected by cancer.

He closed by outlining a number of key priority areas the APPGC will be focusing on including earlier diagnosis and one-year cancer survival figures, the current state of the cancer workforce and will continue to monitor improvement of patient experience especially for those people affected by rarer and less common cancers too.

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Kate Corney, Patient Representative, presenting at Britain Against Cancer 2016. More info

Kate Corney, Patient Representative

For the first time at Britain Against Cancer, delegates had the opportunity to hear a keynote speech from a patient representative speaker, Kate Corney. Kate was diagnosed with Stage IVb Hodgkin Lymphoma in 2014 and spoke to delegates about her own cancer journey.

She began by speaking about the traditional images of a cancer patient; a survivor and a sufferer. Both of these ‘images’ she argued, are painted in a negative light and she went on to highlight the importance of challenging these stereotypes of people affected by cancer.

She ended by speaking about the future image of cancer and suggesting that there needs to be more cancer education to keep people informed, and to call cancer ‘cancer.’ 

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Simon Stevens, CEO at NHS England, presenting at Britain Against Cancer 2016. More info

Simon Stevens, Chief Executive at NHS England

Simon Stevens opened his speech by outlining improvements that have been made in prevention, patient experience, and cancer care over the last year, also stating that over 2,400 people will have survived cancer since last Christmas. He spoke about NHS England’s commitment to increase efforts in diagnosing cancers early, noting improvements made in the country’s one-year cancer survival rates which has increased to 70.4% over the last year.

Simon also made an announcement regarding additional funding as part of the Cancer Transformation Fund. Cancer Alliances he said, will have the opportunity to bid for £200 million funding to be able to invest in earlier diagnosis, the Recovery Package, and stratified pathways, over the next two years.

He also commented on recent progress made in upgrading modern cancer radiotherapy equipment, and gave further detail on the first wave of hospitals across the country to receive new linear accelerators to start an upgrade of radiotherapy machines.

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Jonathan Ashworth MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Health, presenting at the Britain Against Cancer conference 2016. More info

Jonathan Ashworth MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Health

The Shadow Secretary of State for Health, Jonathan Ashworth, began by outlining the Labour Party’s priorities for cancer care going forward. Jonathan reinforced his commitment to working with the cancer community in the next coming months, stating that his ‘door was always open.’

He highlighted improvements made in earlier diagnosis initiatives, but also called for an urgent need for more public health interventions, (citing the tobacco ban as an example), in order to help improve cancer outcomes overall.

Jonathan ended by emphasising the Labour Party will continue to have a strong focus on cancer and monitor the implementation of the England Cancer Strategy over the coming years.

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David Mowat MP, Community Health and Care Minister, presenting at Britain Against Cancer conference 2016. More info

David Mowat MP, Community Health and Care Minister

Community Health and Care Minister, David Mowat, opened by reiterating the importance of the England Cancer Strategy, noting that this was a priority for his Department to ensure this is implemented as soon as possible. The Minister also spoke about the improvements made in one-year cancer survival rates and highlighted his commitment to rolling out earlier diagnosis initiatives.

The Minister also gave greater detail on the accountability process of implementing the England Cancer Strategy and called for greater transparency on progress on delivering key Strategy recommendations. He also noted that more still needs to be done in order to transform cancer outcomes, with Sustainability and Transformation Plans expected to drive better cancer care.

He reaffirmed the Government’s commitment to rolling out the Recovery Package by 2020 and spoke about the importance of patient experience namely, the need to make progress on rarer cancers and the under-treatment of elderly people.

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The expert panel presenting to Britain Against Cancer conference 2016 delegates. More info

Expert Panel

This year’s expert panel comprised of a range of speakers including Professor Chris Harrison, National Clinical Director for Cancer at NHS England, Dr Rosie Loftus, Joint Chief Medical Officer at Macmillan Cancer Support, Jane Milligan, Chief Officer at NHS Tower Hamlets Clinical Commissioning Group and John Reeve, patient representatives on the National Cancer Advisory Group. The panel session was chaired by Nic Dakin MP, Officer of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Cancer.

A range of questions were submitted by the audience and discussions focused on issues regarding the role of Cancer Alliances and Sustainability and Transformation Plans, engagement, and involvement of patients in the roll out of the Cancer Strategy, and access to treatments such as the Recovery Package.

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The BAC Talk Series

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A pile of fabric BAC bags at the Britain Against Cancer conference 2016. More info

Conference Supporters

The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Cancer would like to thank the supporters of Britain Against Cancer Conference 2016. All organisations have medical expertise and a commercial interest in cancer, but have had no involvement in the programme of the conference: Bristol Myers Squibb, Roche, Pfizer, Celgene and Merck Sorono.
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Britain Against Cancer over the years...

Britain Against Cancer 2014

The last conference before the General Election, BAC 2014 included for the first time, a keynote speech from NHS Chief Executive, Simon Stevens.

Britain Against Cancer 2013

Britain Against Caner 2013 saw the launch of the APPG’s report ‘Cancer across the Domains’, which looked at cancer priorities following the Health and Social Care Act 2013.