Cancer affects more that just the patient

The Constituency View with Henry Smith MP SUS-170126-103725001
The Constituency View with Henry Smith MP SUS-170126-103725001

I’m writing this column on a very busy Friday afternoon in my Crawley office, having just come back from the Macmillan Coffee Morning at OnSite Support in Three Bridges.

It’s a testament to the generosity of our town that so many events for Macmillan are taking place in Crawley. If I were to list them all they’d go right off the page!

While many Macmillan Coffee Mornings have taken place across the country, there will be an additional one in a couple of weeks’ time in Parliament which I very much hope to attend. It’s always hard to turn down the chance for a coffee while supporting such a good cause, but there’s also a serious point of the representations made by groups such as Macmillan to MPs and the Government.

Currently, one in four people living with cancer face poor health or disability after treatment for cancer – around 625,000 people in the UK.

I recently chaired two parliamentary evidence sessions on the issue of blood cancer care in our NHS. In researching this topic we sought expert opinion from patients, clinicians, researchers and NHS staff to establish what is currently working well in care and where there are gaps in services.

One of the issues raised when gathering evidence was the important support provided by Macmillan. When living with cancer it’s important to remember the impact that this has on a patient, their family and their wider support network.

While the health budget continues to increase, from £116.1 billion in 2016-17 to £123.2 billion in 2019-20, and services continue to come back to Crawley Hospital, I am acutely aware there is more to be done to enhance the care provided and support available to those who need it.

If I may be able to assist please call my office on 01293 934554, write to me at the House of Commons, London SW1A 0AA, or email me directly: