In October 2017, I set up the All Party Parliamentary Group on Children, Teenagers, and Young Adults with Cancer. I immediately launched an inquiry into the patient experience of children and young people across the UK.
Since then, I’ve been campaigning for the government to create a travel fund for the families of children with cancer. Young people and their parents and carers have to travel long distances for treatment. It’s a financial burden but also impacts on education and employment.
Most recently, I asked the Leader of the House to include this commitment in the Queen’s Speech. 👇🏽
He didn’t this time – but this is something that I will continue to work towards until we succeed. We must ensure that children and young people get the help and support they need during cancer treatment and other serious illnesses.
Many of you will know that, in October 2017, I set up the All Party Parliamentary Group on Children, Teenagers and Young Adults with Cancer (APPG CTYAC) and we immediately launched an inquiry into the patient experience of children and young people across the UK.With invaluable support from the charity Clic Sargent, the APPG CTYAC published a report in July 2018 called ‘Listen up! What matters to young cancer patients”. [https://clicsargent.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/APPG20CTYAC20-20Terms20of20Reference20Patient20Experience20Inquiry202018.pdf]During the inquiry, the APPG heard that specialist, age-appropriate treatment and care for young people with cancer is usually vital and often helped with patient experience. But the specific ways in which patients receive treatment presents challenges. The financial impact of cancer and the practical impact of travelling long distances for treatment were raised, as was the impact of treatment on education and employment, for patient and parents. The APPG noted that tackling these challenges involves several government departments responsible for support for children, young people and their families during and beyond treatment.One of the recommendations of the report was that governments across the UK should commit to reviewing the travel assistance available to young cancer patients and their parents/carers and make recommendations for reform.On Thursday 3 October, just over a year after the report’s publication, I urged the Leader of the House to include in the imminent Queen’s Speech a commitment to a travel fund for the families of children with cancer. Something that would make a huge difference to the families’ lives. I didn’t expect a direct agreement to do so, but in it’s the nature of campaigns like these that you need to keep badgering away to bring these concerns to the fore.(You can read more about the APPG here: https://www.clicsargent.org.uk/join-our-fight/get-campaigning/all-party-parliamentary-group-on-children-teenagers-and-young-adults-with-cancer/)
Posted by Thangam Debbonaire on Tuesday, October 8, 2019