We work with the Northern Ireland Assembly

The Macmillan Policy & Public Affairs team makes sure that the voice of people affected by cancer is heard at Stormont.

How we support Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs)

The Northern Ireland Assembly building

The Policy & Public Affairs team works with MLAs to reach and improve the lives of as many people affected by cancer as possible.

We’re here to help you make sure that people in your constituency are well supported from diagnosis.

We can assist you by:

  • informing you with briefings and statistics ahead of debates and speeches
  • providing advice on constituency case work
  • updating you with tailored briefings about your local cancer population
  • arranging service visits in your constituency.
  • together we can make a difference so that no one in Northern Ireland faces cancer alone. 

Get in touch

Contact Sarah Christie, Policy and Public Affairs Manager for Northern Ireland - SChristie@macmillan.org.uk.

Cancer strategy in Northern Ireland

We were delighted with the publication of the Northern Ireland Cancer Strategy 2022 – 2032. As stakeholders involved with the co-production and co-design of the strategy, it was a milestone to see it published.  

As we move ahead with the implementation, action is needed to address barriers to create the meaningful change outlined in the NI Cancer Strategy. This will ensure we create the best patient experience for people living with and beyond cancer.

For more information


Health and Social care staff have gone above and beyond to meet the challenge of Covid-19 and to minimise disruption to cancer care. They must be supported to meet the next challenges of rebuilding services, tackling the backlog in cancer care and working with a potentially more complex cancer care population.

In rebuilding cancer services we need to learn from the past. We need to tackle the systemic workforce challenges that left services stretched before the pandemic and consistently missing the Executive’s waiting times targets.  

This can be done by moving to a long-term demand-based modelling approach to commissioning services and providing a multi-year funding settlement for the cancer workforce plan, including the next phase of the Cancer Nurses Specialist workforce expansion.  

Clinical Nurse Specialists are experienced cancer nurses who advise, treat and manage the health concerns of people with cancer. They play a critical role in delivering person centred care throughout the pathway. This is illustrated by Patient experience. The latest NI Cancer Patient Experience Survey highlighted access to named Clinical Nurse Specialist led to increased positive experiences across most questions.

Recent research demonstrated that if the number of specialist cancer nurses stays at current levels, by 2030 Northern Ireland would be 100 Clinical Nurse Specialists short of providing the care that people need. It takes many years before investment in training reaches the frontline of care. Achieving the necessary number of Clinical Nurse Specialist for 2030 will require sustained investment through the next budget.

“Great, caring and compassionate –I could not speak highly enough” - A Cancer Experience Panel member on the cancer workforce.

Cancer Waiting Times in Northern Ireland

Each quarter, the Department of Health publishes information on the waiting times for patients accessing cancer services at hospitals across Northern Ireland. Despite the best efforts of hard-working healthcare professionals, waiting times are currently the worst on record.

Waiting for treatment is one of the most stressful, anxiety-inducing times for people living with cancer. 

It is imperative that the NI Cancer Strategy is fully implemented, funded, and supported by a functioning Executive. This will ensure that waiting times are addressed and people have access to the care they need when they need it.

For more information about cancer waiting times in NI visit Cancer waiting times | Department of Health.