Wednesday 17th May 2017

I’ve worked through a few elections but never a snap election, so this has been a new experience! Calling an election has a huge impact across all policy and political actions and decisions.

Parliament is dissolved and MPs revert to being prospective parliamentary candidates as they go out to campaign to be re-elected, that is if they decide they want to continue to work as an MP. Government continues, but it enters a period called ‘purdah’ which means no new policy decisions can be made during this time and there are restrictions on what civil servants can do. 

For all of us, it’s a unique election-based opportunity to see what the political parties plan to do if they win the election. This week the main political parties have released their manifestos, they’re worth a read and are all available on the various parties’ websites.

Teenage Cancer Trust has an opportunity too, to let political parties know about the policy issues core to our mission. In the 2015 election our calls to action were all included in the cancer strategy for England and reflected in similar cancer plans across the UK following the devolved nations’ elections in 2016. Almost 2 years on, now we need to see action. 

So, in this election we’re calling on political parties and any future Government to make young people with cancer a priority. Specifically, we want to see urgent progress on:

Specialist care

Young people with cancer need specialist care at every part of the pathway, from the moment they’re diagnosed with cancer to the support they need after their treatment ends. Teenage Cancer Trust’s specialist services provide world-class cancer care and support working with the NHS across the UK. Right now, only half of young people with cancer are accessing our services. As pressure on the NHS continues, and the full impact of Brexit on the health services is still uncertain, it’s important that the Government and the NHS act on their commitments made in cancer strategies to make sure young people with cancer get the support they need.

Cancer education

The next generation needs to learn that cancer isn’t something we should be afraid to talk about. Our education team have the skills and the knowledge to help empower young people to take ownership of their health and to understand that cancer is something we need to talk about, not to hide from. We’re working on reaching every secondary school in the UK, but we need help from the Government, NHS England, Public Health England and other organisations UK-wide to help achieve this ambition.

Make young people with cancer a priority in the 2017 General Election

Our calls to action can be read above or downloaded as a PDF. We’ll be sending these to all the political parties before the election so that they know what they can do to support teenagers and young adults with cancer. If you want to be part of the conversation, you can:

1. #talkteenagecancer #GE2017

​We’ll be posting our calls to action on Twitter and Facebook, and need you to share these so we can reach as many people as possible. Make sure to use #talkteenagecancer to be part of the conversation

2. Ask your candidates to step up for young people with cancer

You can contact your local candidates by post, email, or social media, and use our calls to action to ask them how they’re going to prioritise young people with cancer.

3. Vote!

Registration for voting closes on 22 May: if you're not already registered, you can sign up here.

If you have any questions about the election, or about our Policy in work in general, you can tweet me @SashaDaly1 or get in touch with the team via email