On 8 September, Craig was one of over 200 Members of Parliament who came together to support Macmillan Cancer Support’s latest campaign.
The charity used its well loved World’s Biggest Coffee Morning reception in Parliament to launch a new report “Cancer Nursing on the line”.
The report calls for a Cancer Nurse Fund to invest in training the next generation of cancer nurses, whose numbers need to double by 2030 to ensure that people living with cancer get the support they need.
Craig spoke with Macmillan professionals and heard about the concerns of people living with cancer.
It is clear that specialist cancer nurses do an invaluable job in supporting people through their illness: from diagnosis, to treatment, and beyond.
But Macmillan’s report highlights that the cancer nurse crisis has now left more than half a million people with cancer in the UK (21%; 630,000)[i] with a lack of support. This can have serious implications, with almost half of all people (44%) who were diagnosed with cancer in the last two years, and lacked support, experiencing at least one potentially serious medical implication as a result, such as ending up in A&E, not knowing if they were talking their medication correctly or what side effects to look out for[iii].
As the NHS recovers from the throes of the Covid-19 pandemic, we must build back stronger and better. A shortage of over 3,000 nurses in England is impacting how the NHS can care for cancer patients in Calder Valley and indeed, across our nations. We must grow and back our specialist cancer nurse workforce in order to be set up for the future.
The Macmillan event on 8 September allowed Craig to show support and solidarity with the specialist cancer nurses who do so much to help the growing population of those living with cancer, which is set to rise to 4 million by 2030.
The residents of Calder Valley deserve to get the very best out of cancer services, should they ever need them. By continuing to work with Macmillan Cancer Support on the crucial issues they champion, Craig will work to ensure that local people get the support that they deserve through their illness.
If you or a loved one has been impacted by cancer, Craig would welcome hearing their experiences of living with cancer, the impact a diagnosis has had and how he might be able to help.
[i] Macmillan Cancer Support/YouGov survey of 2,032 adults with a previous cancer diagnosis. Fieldwork was undertaken between 30th July - 15th August 2021. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of people living with cancer (aged 18+). 21% of respondents had either not received any support from a specialist cancer nurse during their diagnosis or treatment and would have liked to, or said the support they received was not enough. The 630,000 figure is estimated by applying the 21% to the 3 million people living with cancer in the UK. 3 million figure is taken from: Macmillan Cancer Support. Calculating cancer prevalence. https://www.macmillan.org.uk/about-us/what-we-do/evidence/using-cancer-data/calculating-cancer-prevalence.html
[iii] As per ref i. Among those diagnosed in the past 2 years who lacked support from a specialist nurse, 44% said they had experienced at least one of the following: ending up in A&E, being unsure if they were taking their medication correctly, or being unsure what side-effects of their treatment they should be looking out for