Cancer in northern Ireland time to deliver

Any future cancer strategy for Northern Ireland must meet the needs of people living with cancer.

We campaigned to make cancer care a priority

  • More people than ever before are being diagnosed with cancer in Northern Ireland – around 10,000 each year.
  • But survival is also increasing due to earlier diagnosis and better treatment.
  • Without urgent political action, the health service will not be able to support everyone with cancer.

That's why we took the opportunity to campaign in the 2016 Assembly election and asked all parties to commit to making cancer care a priority.

Read our three Northern Ireland Assembly Election calls.

With your support, we made a difference

Thanks to your help, we succeeded in putting cancer firmly on the agenda before the votes were cast. The candidates in all 18 constituencies in Northern Ireland were contacted by Macmillan campaigners in their area.

Several parties chose to highlight the need for better cancer care in their manifesto commitments. More than half of the 108 MLAs represent a party that has pledged to support at least one of our calls.

Most of the major parties also committed to creating a cancer strategy for Northern Ireland. Our aim is to make sure that this brings significant improvements in care and support for people coping with impact of cancer, both during and after treatment.

What did each party promise?

All the main political parties made commitments to improve cancer care in Northern Ireland.

Read what each party committed to delivering below - parties in alphabetical order:

Alliance Party

  • Fully implement the Service Framework for Cancer Prevention, Treatment and Care.
  • Create a Comprehensive Cancer Strategy, addressing prevention, early detection, treatment and support for research.
  • Support parity of treatments and access to treatments with those available in the rest of the UK, including equity of access to drug treatments.
  • Provide Equal access to Clinical Nurse Specialists.
  • Ensure the Recovery Package is available to every patient progressing through and beyond treatment for cancer.
  • Promote of the use of Advanced Care Planning for people approaching end of life.

Read the Alliance Party's Manifesto here.

Fully implement the Service Framework for Cancer Prevention, Treatment and Care.

Alliance Party

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Democratic Unionist Party

  • Increase investment in cancer care by at least an additional 10% and introduce a new comprehensive cancer plan for the next decade.
  • Improve 5 year cancer survival rates by 20 percentage point from the establishment of devolved government.
  • Continue to promote awareness and prevention.
  • Establish innovative new services and provide more nurse specialists.
  • Support the additional investment of a minimum of £80 million to tackle waiting lists in each year of the Assembly term.

Read the Democratic Unionist Party's Manifesto.

Increase investment in cancer care by at least an additional 10%.

Democratic Unionist Party

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Green Party

  • Call for an independent review of the provision of support for older people at home, including the need for high-quality domiciliary care.
  • Work in partnership with charities and voluntary organisations that are championing patient care.
  • Promote health through the provision of safe walking, cycling routes, public parks, playgrounds, pitches, swimming pools and leisure centres.
  • Promote community healthcare, illness prevention and health promotion to combat the rising problems of obesity and its related diseases.
  • Support dignity in dying.

Read the Green Party's Manifesto here.

Call for an independent review of the provision of support for older people at home.

Green Party

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NI Conservatives

  • NHS should remain free to all at the point of use, and this extends to an opposition to the introduction of prescription charges in the NHS in Northern Ireland.
  • The Donaldson Report should be accepted in full by the Executive.
  • Services in Northern Ireland should be regionalised under a single umbrella Trust.
  • The time has come for the ‘Transforming Your Care’ agenda to become more than just words.
  • Potential should be unlocked through empowering community pharmacists through the commissioning of services from them.

Read the NI Conservatives' Manifesto here.

NHS should remain free to all at the point of use.

NI Conservatives

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Sinn Féin

  • Commit £1 billion to additional health spending.
  • Remove the ‘internal market’ within our health structures, specifically the commissioning/provider split.
  • Involve all health workers in decisions regarding the design of a health care system that best meets people’s needs.
  • Implement recommendations by the Older Person’s Commissioner on the culture of care provision, dealing with regulation and inspection, standards of care, protecting whistle blowers and training and value of workforce.
  • Increase first year training intake for G.P. specialism.

Read Sinn Féin's Manifesto here.

Commit £1 billion to additional health spending.

Sinn Féin

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Social Democratic and Labour Party

  • Introduce an overarching Cancer Strategy with clear measurable targets and timescales with sustained funding at its core.
  • The introduction of a Cancer Drugs Fund for Northern Ireland.
  • Ensuring Ministerial targets for urgent Breast Cancer referral and treatment are complied with.
  • A ‘Tobacco-free Northern Ireland’ and the enactment of legislation banning smoking in cars with children.
  • Calling for the HPV vaccination programme to be extended to include adolescent boys.

Read the Social Democratic and Labour Party's Manifesto here.

Introduce an overarching Cancer Strategy.

Social Democratic and Labour Party

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Traditional Unionist Voice

  • Everyone newly diagnosed with cancer should have access to a Clinical Nurse Specialist.
  • Full compliance with Ministerial Targets for Cancer.
  • Support for guaranteed adequate funding to provide universal access to NICE approved drugs.
  • Support campaigns to highlight the benefits of a healthy lifestyle.

Read the Traditional Unionist Voice's Manifesto here.

Everyone newly diagnosed with cancer should have access to a Clinical Nurse Specialist.

Traditional Unionist Voice

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Ulster Unionist Party

  • Introduce a NI cancer care strategy.
  • Detect and treat earlier.
  • Plan for the implications of an older population.
  • Equal access to clinical nurse specialists.
  • Adopt NICE approved drugs.
  • Improve end of life care.

Read the Ulster Unionist Party's Manifesto here.

Introduce a NI cancer care strategy.

Ulster Unionist Party

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UK Independence Party

  • No more waiting lists for appointments to ease pain.
  • Ensure the NHS is free, at the point of need, for all Northern Ireland residents.
  • Demand a better deal for Carers.
  • Press for free car parking at hospitals for patients visitors.
  • Oppose the sale of NHS data to third parties.

Read the UK Independence Party's Manifesto here.

No more waiting lists for appointments to ease pain.

UK Independence Party

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It’s time to deliver

After the election in May, the Democratic Unionist Party and Sinn Féin formed the power-sharing government and the smaller parties entered opposition. But every MLA will have a part to play in pushing for improvements to cancer care.

All political parties must now act together to make the best possible use of resources for people with cancer in Northern Ireland, a number that is expected to rise to 100,000 by 2030.

We believe that everyone living with cancer – regardless of where they live, the type of cancer they have, or the hospital they attend for treatment – should have equal access to high quality care and support.

We will now work hard to make sure that our election calls are championed and real improvements made for everyone affected by cancer in Northern Ireland.