We work with Parliament

Macmillan brings the voice of people affected by cancer to Parliament. We work with Government and politicians to improve care and support at every stage of the cancer journey.

General Election 2017

There are 2.5 million people living with cancer in the UK today, and as more people live longer with their cancer, this number is set to grow to 4 million by 2030. The next Government must therefore ensure that care and treatment for people with cancer is a health priority.

We are making three key calls on the next government in our Macmillan Manifesto. They are not the only issues we want ministers and their agencies to address, but they are three of our major priorities:

  • the health and care workforce
  • financial support for people with cancer
  • care for people at the end of their lives.

These are underpinned by research, the expertise of our health and social care professionals, and countless conversations with people with cancer and their carers.

Macmillan Cancer Support calls on political parties to commit to the following over the course of the next Parliament:

  1. Ensure that there are enough health and care staff with the right skills so that people with cancer receive world-class treatment and support.
  2. No cuts to welfare benefits for people with cancer or their carers.
  3. Ensure that everyone approaching the end of their lives receive the best possible care and support and can die in the place of their choice.

Our priorities this election

Ensure that there are enough health and care staff with the right skills so that people with cancer receive world-class treatment and support.

One of the biggest challenges facing the health and care sectors is maintaining a skilled workforce. With the number of people living with cancer set to grow from 2.5 million to 4 million by 2030, it is vital that workforce is a priority for the next Government.

Ahead of the General Election, Macmillan is calling on all parties to ensure that by the end of the next Parliament, the health and care workforce is supported and equipped to meet the changing needs of people with cancer.

In order to achieve this, we want to see all parties commit to:

  • urgently setting out a clear and ambitious plan for how the NHS will develop a workforce that is able to meet the changing and more complex needs of a growing cancer population
  • ensuring the UK’s exit from the European Union will not negatively impact the ability of the health and care workforce to deliver high quality cancer care.

Read our report: 'Thinking Differently - Macmillan’s vision for the future cancer workforce in England'.

So many things I have to do, do not need to be done by a highly skilled [professional], however they have to be done. I need to be able to target my specialist skills, and not at the photocopier.

Allied Health Professional, from 'Thinking Differently' report

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No cuts to welfare benefits for people with cancer or their carers.

Alongside the physical effects, cancer can come with a significant financial impact. 4 out of 5 people with cancer are affected financially, being, on average, £570 a month worse off as a result of their diagnosis.

Without support to manage this financial impact, money worries can spiral out of control. This can leave people with cancer struggling to pay their bills, cutting back on food or not going to their medical appointments because they can’t afford the cost of travel. A cancer diagnosis is typically sudden and unexpected, and almost half of people are taken by surprise by the extent of the financial impact.

It is essential that people living with cancer and their carers are provided with the support they need. In March 2016, the then Government committed to not making any further welfare savings over the course of the Parliament. Therefore, ahead of the General Election, we want to see all parties committing to – as a minimum – not making any cuts to key welfare benefits for people with cancer and their carers over the course of the next Parliament. This means no cuts to sickness and disability benefits, including ensuring there are no reductions to benefit rates or restrictions on eligibility.

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Ensure that everyone approaching the end of their lives receive the best possible care and support and can die in the place of their choice.

Most people will need access to end of life services at some point; either when dying themselves or through supporting someone they love. Everyone deserves to live well, but they also deserve to die well. To make this happen, it is vital that health and social care services work together to ensure people approaching the end of life receive high quality and personalised care.

Macmillan believes wherever you are looked after, you should get the care you need, be comfortable, and have your pain controlled, so that you can die with dignity in the place and manner of your choosing. To achieve this, Macmillan is looking to the political parties to commit to implementing and funding the recommendations set out in the 2015 independently-led ‘Review of Choice in End of Life Care’ (the Choice Review).

Macmillan is calling on all parties to ensure that more is done to ensure people’s preferences at the end of life are recorded, shared and acted upon; enabling more people to die in their preferred place and reducing unnecessary hospital admissions.

It was my mother’s dearest wish to die at home. We did everything we could to make this happen but it was challenging accessing the right support at the right time. We need to have access to good quality advice any time, day or night. That’s vital to help people die well.

Nikki, 'On the Brink' report

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Meet the team

Ben Parker, Public Affairs Officer

Ben Parker

Public Affairs Officer beparker@macmillan.org.uk

Chris Walden

Chris Walden

Interim Head of Public Affairs cwalden@macmillan.org.uk

Sukhveer Kaur, PA to Heads of Public Affairs and Policy

Sukhveer Kaur

PA to Heads of Public Affairs and Policy sukaur@macmillan.org.uk