On Wednesday 9th December the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Brain Tumours held a meeting in Westminster to discuss the new five year Independent Cancer Taskforce Strategy. The event was well attended and several MPs came along to listen to the experiences and concerns of our supporters.
We heard from four speakers with a range of experiences. Emma Greenwood, Head of Policy Development at Cancer Research UK and a member of the Independent Cancer Taskforce secretariat, gave some background and context to the strategy and touched on some of the recommendations which can improve outcomes for rarer cancers. Emma spoke optimistically about how the next year provides cancer charities with an opportunity to engage with organisations responsible for the implementation of the strategy and to help shape the implementation of some of the recommendations.
Our Young Ambassador, April Watkins, spoke about the challenges she faced as a young person who had a brain tumour, in particular the difficult transition between children and teenage and young adult support services and entry into the workplace. Dr Ahmadur Rahman, a Consultant Clinical Oncologist in Neuro-oncology at Queens Hospital in Essex, focused on patient experience and research, particularly the importance of a measures for patient experience highlighted within the strategy. Finally, Gala Rowley, a Brain Tumour Charity Ambassador and volunteer fundraiser, discussed the importance of early diagnosis, joint decision making and the need for rehabilitative services for people living with and beyond a brain tumour.
The discussion that followed drew on the experiences of the speakers and we heard from health professionals and people affected by brain tumours about what improvements should be made to improve diagnosis, patient experience, quality of life and survival for people with a brain tumour as well as what the immediate priorities in the implementation of the cancer strategy should be.
We would like to thank our speakers, attendees and all those who invited their MP to the event. The Brain Tumour Charity and Brain Tumour Research will be organising a series of meetings on a variety of topics that relate to brain tumours over the next year. If you have any questions about the meeting on the Independent Cancer Taskforce Strategy or the next meeting of the APPG on Brain Tumours please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org