We are the largest funder of cancer research in Scotland, spending over £31 million on research in Scotland each year. We believe that cancer must remain one of the main health priorities for the Scottish Parliament and Scottish Government.
Every year around 30,200 people in Scotland are diagnosed with cancer – around 83 people every day. Cancer death rates in Scotland have fallen by a fifth over the last twenty years, and our research has been at the heart of this progress. Yet there is more progress to be made - one in two people in the UK will be diagnosed with some form of cancer during their lifetime.
That is why we work with the 129 Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs), advising them on cancer and research issues and their importance to the health and education agendas. (If you’re an MSP, scroll down for more on how we can help you).
We are also actively involved in local communities across Scotland, where we have over 90 fundraising groups and committees. There are 83 of our charity shops and 4,500 regular volunteers in Scotland, giving up their time to help in the fight against cancer.
Helping shape the policy landscape in Scotland
Responsibility for health is devolved to the Scottish Parliament which means it makes decisions about health policy for Scotland.
We provide the Secretariat to the Cross Party Group on Cancer in the Scottish Parliament. The Cross Party Group is a forum for MSPs interested in cancer issues, as well as those from the wider cancer community - including clinicians, academia, the third sector, and patient groups. The Group meets regularly to hear from experts on cancer research and services in Scotland.
We also work with other cancer charities and officials in the Scottish Government to monitor and influence the implementation of the new Scottish cancer strategy, which pledged £100 million of extra investment in cancer services. We also monitor the progress of the Detect Cancer Early Programme, which aims to improve cancer survival by diagnosing and treating the disease at an earlier stage.
Our key priority over the course of this parliament is ensuring the Scottish Government’s cancer strategy is implemented swiftly and fully, so that patients see the impact of the new funding as quickly as possible. That includes measures such as:
• The delivery of a strong new public health strategy
• The implementation of a fund to help speed up access to diagnostic tests
• The allocation of £50m to improving access to advanced radiotherapy.
Working with elected representatives
We work with MSPs in Holyrood and in their constituencies. Through our programme of events – from our annual Scottish Cancer Conference through to local fundraising events such as Race for Life – MSPs can meet with and hear the views of cancer patients, volunteers, fundraisers, doctors nurses and scientists.
We regularly brief MSPs ahead of debates in Parliament, and respond to relevant parliamentary consultations and inquiries. We also attend the main party political conferences to meet with MSPs and share our key priorities.
Following the Scottish parliamentary election in May 2016, we are engaging with new and returning MSPs across all political parties to ensure that cancer issues are high on the agenda.
Are you an MSP? How we can help you:
We’re keen to work with MSPs and provide them with the tools needed to keep cancer on the agenda.
We can help with:
• Local cancer statistics by Health Board. We provide tailored local profiles with recommended questions for Health Boards
• Expert briefings, speaking notes and policy advice
• Suggesting parliamentary questions
• Meeting your constituency Cancer Campaigns Ambassador
• Visits to our shops, research centres, Cancer Awareness roadshows & local Race for Life events
How you can help us keep cancer on the parliamentary agenda
There are a number of ways MSPs can support us in Holyrood and the constituency. For example:
• Using local cancer statistics when speaking to Health Boards
• Meeting with the team to discuss our policy priorities
• Attending our events in Holyrood to show your support
• Speaking out at debates on important cancer and research issues in Parliament
• Displaying our health information leaflets in constituency surgeries or constituency offices
• Reading our blog for information on our work and cancer stories in the news
• Following us on twitter
Scotland Vs Cancer
As an election candidate, we are inviting you to join the fight to beat cancer sooner: it’s Scotland Vs Cancer, help Scotland come out on top!