In February of this year, NHS England overturned its decision not to routinely fund second stem cell transplants for patients who suffer a relapse. The Anthony Nolan charity was fundamental in creating the support and awareness necessary in order to overturn the previous decision.
I sympathise with anyone affected by blood cancer. Anthony Nolan conducts vital research and support for people who have blood cancer, its work saves lives. For example, Anthony Nolan and the NHS Stem Cell Registry has given thousands of people the opportunity to have a transplant where previously they may not have been able to be matched with a donor.
I support the work of the APPG on Stem Cell Transplantation. This APPG is working with the Anthony Nolan Campaign to expand the register of potential donors by developing the number of young, black, Asian and minority ethnic donors who are particularly underrepresented on the current donor register.
In July 2015 an independent NHS England Cancer Taskforce published a report called ‘achieving world-class cancer outcomes: a strategy for England 2015-2020’. This report contains proposals that could go a long way towards helping some of the estimated 2.5 million people living with cancer. If implemented in full, the strategy could save 30,000 more lives every year by 2020.
In my role in Labour’s Shadow Health Team I will continue to work to secure proper care and support for people who have blood cancer and their families. It is time for the Conservative Government to create a sensible and reasonable care package for those with blood cancer.