Many of us have been affected, either directly or through a family member, by cancer.
The pain and suffering this disease causes is difficult to put into words, but can lead to positive actions designed to leave a lasting difference.
My own family’s experience is one of the reasons why I’m committed to raising awareness of blood cancer; of which there are 137 different types, making up the UK’s third biggest cancer killer and the fifth most common cancer overall. Last year I set up and was elected to chair the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Blood Cancer, and our Group is undertaking its inaugural inquiry, on blood cancer care in the NHS in England.
The inquiry’s scope is deliberately widespread. The Group will publish a report on its findings later in the year, covering a range of issues which affect medical staff, and patients and their support networks. I’m confident that the issues discussed will outline a range of topics which the APPG will want to investigate in further detail in the coming months. The APPG on Blood Cancer covers the whole of the UK. Health services are devolved in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland; as such the inquiry will focus on the implementation of the Cancer Strategy for England.
In the coming weeks we’ll be holding oral evidence sessions in Westminster, hearing from clinical experts and medical professionals, and continuing to invite the views of patients and their families.
I’m particularly keen to hear from anyone else in Crawley who’s been affected. The Group continues to accept written evidence from stakeholders including patients and carers. Submissions can be made via an online form, by email or through the post no later than 27th April.
For how to contribute, and more information on the work of the Group, please visit: www.henrysmith.info/campaigns/blood-cancer