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.

How we support MPs and Peers

The Public Affairs team supports and works with MPs and Peers to reach as many people affected by cancer as possible.

We can help you by arranging:

Together we can make a difference so that no one faces cancer alone. Get in touch at parliament@macmillan.org.uk.

Our priorities in Parliament

Improving choice at the end of life

The vast majority of people (79%) want to die at home however less than a quarter (21%) are able to do so. Macmillan estimates if nothing is done by 2020, 1.3m people will have had their dying wish ignored. This must be urgently addressed.

Consensus has grown around the urgent need for Government action to address the lack of choice at end of life. It is also widely accepted that if more people are treated in a community setting then savings can be made in the acute sector.

The Government have now published their response to the Independent Review of Choice in End of Life Care [PDF], which sets out a new ‘National Commitment’ based on everyone at the end of life receiving high quality care tailored to their needs and wishes. We will now be working with other charities, the NHS and Government to ensure these commitments are realised and everyone receives the high quality end of life care they deserve.

For more information:

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A fully implemented Cancer Strategy

On Sunday 19 July 2015 the Independent Cancer Taskforce published a new report called Achieving world-class cancer outcomes - A strategy for England 2015-2020 [PDF, 4.90 Mb]. This sets out a proposed new five-year Cancer Strategy for England.

Macmillan was part of the Taskforce and welcomed the report [PDF, 4.90 Mb] as it covers the whole pathway and has a strong emphasis on patient experience and survivorship.

The strategy document is a very important step towards improving cancer care in England. Macmillan will continue to work to support the implementation of the Cancer Strategy and ensure that Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt’s commitments to the recommendations are acted upon, including that everyone must have access to the Recovery Package by 2020 and the development of a Quality of Life metric by 2017. We will work with other charities, the NHS and government to ensure that we can make the potential of the Cancer Strategy into a reality for patients.

For more information:

The strategy document is a very important step towards improving cancer care in England.

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Money and cancer

Four out of five people living with cancer are on average £570 worse off per month as a result of loss of income and increased costs.

Many people struggle to cope with this significant financial impact, which creates additional pressure at a time when they should be focusing on their treatment and recovery. Our research found that 43% of those who experienced a financial impact of cancer said it had a detrimental effect on their overall health.  

With the number of people living with cancer set to grow from 2.5 million to 4 million by 2030, it’s vital that we take action now to make sure everyone affected by cancer gets the financial help and support they need, when they need it.

Macmillan is working to address this – for example by raising awareness with people affected by cancer, working with health and social care professionals, and ensuring people get the help they need through the benefits system. However, we cannot solve this problem alone. 

Macmillan’s report No Small Change [PDF] outlines what governments, health bodies and the financial services industry should do to help people facing the financial impact of cancer. 

In particular, we are calling for: 

  • people affected by cancer to be made aware of the financial impact of cancer and signposted to the appropriate financial information, guidance, or advice at key points in their journey
  • the benefits system to operate effectively and to provide an adequate level of support for people affected by cancer
  • the banking and insurance sectors to do more to ensure their customers with cancer have consistently positive outcomes.
 

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Support for carers

There are nearly 1.5 million people in the UK looking after a family member, friend or neighbour living with cancer. They provide on average 17.5 hours of care each week.

Yet many don’t see themselves as carers and often aren’t identified by health and social care professionals. This means that carers can miss out on vital emotional, financial or practical support and don’t know where to turn when they need help. Their finances, family life and ability to work can all be affected, leading to problems such as stress, anxiety and depression. They may even reach breaking point and become ill themselves.

No one should have to cope on their own when caring for someone with cancer.

Latest report

In September 2016, Macmillan published a new report entitled ‘Under Pressure: The growing strain on cancer carers’, which highlights the challenges that carers for people living with cancer face and how the system can move towards better supporting them.

Across the four nations

The Westminster Government is currently developing a new Carers’ Strategy for England which is due to be published by the end of the year. Macmillan has submitted evidence to support the development of the strategy and continues to work with local authorities, the voluntary sector and the government to ensure that the strategy recognises the vital role that cancer carers play in our society.

In Scotland, Macmillan is working to ensure that the new Carers Act is fully implemented. In Wales we are working to shape new legislation to improve how carers’ needs are met by local services. In Northern Ireland, Macmillan is working collaboratively with other third sector organisations to call for the introduction of legislation to improve the lives of carers. Find out more about this work here.

If you’d like to know more about our work on carers including the support we can offer to carers living in your constituency, please get in touch with Ben Parker, Public Affairs Officer.

Carers can miss out on vital emotional, financial or practical support.

Macmillan Public Affairs Team

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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