Creating Safe Spaces for Cancer Services
Securing Safe Spaces for Cancer Services
Cancer didn’t stop because of the COVID-19 pandemic, so neither did our cancer campaigners
People across the UK have had their life-saving cancer tests and treatments cancelled or delayed. Its estimated that 38,000 received vital surgery, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy and a third of patients surveyed told us that COVID-19 has impacted their treatment. This disruption was partially due to there not being enough safe spaces in hospitals, free from COVID-19 exposure, for cancer services to continue. The cancellations and disruption have left many cancer patients feeling frustrated, angry and upset.
It was the UK and devolved governments’ responsibility to keep cancer services operating safely during this time. In May, we launched a survey to find out what was most important to you. You told us that COVID-protected spaces and testing should be a priority, so we launched this campaign.
You united with us across the UK
Nearly 4,000 of you acted to secure safe spaces for cancer services by writing to your politicians. Your impact was felt truly UK-wide as all MSs in Wales were contacted, 98% of MPs in England were contacted, 96% of MSPs in Scotland and 67% of MLAs in Northern Ireland were contacted. Thank you so much for all your support. As a result, you galvanised politicians across all nations to support the campaign by asking them to submit questions to their political leaders, speak in debates and Committee sessions on behalf of CRUK and write to their respective governments.
More safe spaces for cancer services have been secured
Following a national push, we are seeing hospitals across the UK put in place the necessary measures. Announcements by Governments across the UK nations vary but progress has been made. This includes Nightingale hospitals being converted into cancer testing centres, cancer services being made a priority in local recovery plans and staff and patients having access to covid-19 testing.
However, life-threatening disruption and uncertainty continues
More than ever we need to campaign to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer. Right now, there’s a massive backlog in cancer care. It’s estimated that over 2 million people are waiting for cancer screening, tests and treatment. It’s the UK and devolved governments’ responsibility to prioritise cancer and to ensure that services recover. Join us and make sure this happens.