More than 24 people are diagnosed in NI with cancer every single day – that’s nearly 9000 per year. And while survival rates here have increased over the last 50 years, NI still ranks below other European countries.
We want to ensure that cancer prevention, detection and treatment remain health priorities for the Northern Ireland Assembly and Executive.
Cancer Research UK spends over £2million annually in Northern Ireland on a range of research-related programmes; we are the largest charity funder of cancer research in Northern Ireland. The CRUK Belfast Centre is a partnership between Queen’s University, the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust and Cancer Research UK.
We are also actively involved with local communities in Northern Ireland, where we have over 50 Local Volunteer Fundraising Committees. Our annual Race for Life and new Pretty Muddy events engaged over 7,300 women in NI in 2015. Along with the generosity of their supporters, they raised over £360,000 for the charity last year. We have 20 shops in Northern Ireland staffed by over 450 volunteers.
Helping shape the policy landscape in Northern Ireland
The Northern Ireland Assembly is responsible for making and enacting laws on devolved matters, including health, in Northern Ireland.
We work with MLAs from all parties to ensure that issues such as early diagnosis and screening stay high on the political agenda in Northern Ireland. We engage with the Department of Health, the Public Health Agency (PHA) and other healthcare bodies to ensure that Northern Ireland has strong cancer policies and a robust implementation framework.
Current policy priorities include:
• the need for a comprehensive cancer strategy for Northern Ireland
• the prevention of more cancers through improved tobacco and alcohol strategies
• early diagnosis including working to improve cancer screening programmes
• equal access to treatments including medicines and advanced radiotherapy for all those who would benefit
• improving access to clinical trials.
Working with elected representatives
We work with the 108 Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs) from all political parties, advising them on health policy and developments in cancer research.
We regularly brief individual MLAs and Committees ahead of relevant debates in the Assembly, and respond to relevant government consultations and inquiries. We also attend the main party political conferences, to meet with MLAs and share our key priorities.
Following the Northern Ireland Assembly elections in May 2016 we are engaging with new and returning MLAs, from across all political parties, to make sure that promises made in party manifestoes are delivered and that cancer issues are high on the political agenda.
Are you a MLA? How we can help you:
We’re keen to work with MLAs and provide them with the tools needed to keep cancer on the agenda.
We can help with:
• Local cancer statistics
• Expert briefings, speaking notes and policy advice
• Suggesting Assembly questions
• Constituency visits to our shops and our Belfast research centre
How you can help us keep cancer on the Assembly agenda
There are a number of ways MLAs can support us in Stormont and the constituency. For example:
• Using local cancer statistics when speaking to Health Trusts and Local Authorities
• Displaying our health information leaflets in constituency offices
• Meeting with the team to discuss our policy priorities
• Attending our events at Stormont to show your support
• Speaking out at debates on important cancer and research issues in the Assembly
• Reading our blog for information on our work and cancer stories in the news
• Following us on twitter @CRUK_Policy
Northern Ireland Vs Cancer
As an election candidate, we are inviting you to join the fight to beat cancer sooner: it’s Northern Ireland Vs Cancer, help Northern Ireland come out on top!