What Are We Waiting For? – our campaign is making sure your voice is heard

Published: 11 September 2023

Over 10,000 of us have signed the Macmillan banner calling on governments across the UK to tackle dangerously long waits for cancer tests and treatment. Find out more.

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Eve Jackson, Campaign Manager at Macmillan

Thanks to all of you 

Headlines from our recent research show that at least 100,000 people across the UK have seen their cancer get worse due to delays, and 2022 was the worst year on record for cancer waiting times in all four UK nations.

In a world where everything is speeding up, waiting for delayed cancer care can feel like an eternity. Here we share our What are we Waiting For? campaign progress so far in getting decision makers to take urgent action.

In August, we celebrated 10,000 signatures on our campaign banner from our supporters in every constituency of the UK. This is also the fastest sign-up rate of any of our petitions in the last five years. None of this would be possible without the dedication and passion of our supporters. Thanks to all of you.

Together we are stronger

From the launch of the campaign in June to September, our goal has been to get the facts out there and establish our voice on this important topic.

Our What Are We Waiting For? report presented the stark reality of long waiting times for cancer care and attracted widespread media coverage.

You can view some highlights on Good Morning Britain and LBC.

With the support of our phenomenal storytellers and professionals, combined with robust insights, we have amplified the voices of people across the UK whose cancer has progressed or got worse due to increasing delays over the last 10 years.

The effect of cancer waiting times

Watch our video below to hear about the impact of long waits on people living with cancer and professionals across the UK.


And yes, the impact on decision-makers is starting to show. Labour's Shadow Health Secretary Wes Streeting echoed our messaging about 'dangerously long' waits in his most recent statement and Wales' Shadow Health Minister Russell George voiced our exact calls during Senedd health questions. This shows our campaign is getting noticed.

If you haven't had a chance to give your support yet, there's still time to sign the banner and make your voice heard.

What is next?

The next phase of our campaign will run from now until spring 2024. This will focus on raising awareness of the campaign with decision-makers, urging them to act on our policy calls. This includes:

Marking Coffee Morning

We will bring the campaign straight to the halls of power with events and locally held Macmillan Coffee Mornings with political representatives in Westminster, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland.

Party Conference Season

We will be hitting the road to Manchester (1-4 October) and Liverpool (8-11 October), ready to mobilise support for our campaign within influential spheres of the Conservative and Labour parties.

Devolved Seat Initiatives

Our efforts won't stop at Westminster, with exciting plans brewing in Stormont, the Senedd and Holyrood. This will ensure change resonates throughout every corner of the UK.


We are here to support you

Waiting for test results and treatments can be a worrying time. Read our information to help you while you are waiting and find out more about the ways we can help.