On Wednesday 16 September we held our first ever parliamentary drop in session with MPs – the first step in our bid to make blood cancer and blood cancer patients a priority at Westminster. The session was a chance for MPs to find out more about blood cancers and our work, and discuss the ways they can help to champion the needs of patients.
A huge thank you to everyone who wrote to their MP encouraging them to come to the event, which saw 13 MPs pledge their support to Bloodwise.
We were delighted to have a good cross party representation at the event including Hilary Benn MP, Shadow Foreign Secretary, Henry Smith MP, Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, and Dr Philippa Whitford MP, Shadow SNP Westminster Group Leader on Health and a member of the Health Select Committee.
Many MPs, even those who have personal connections to blood cancer, were surprised by the lack of awareness of blood cancer we have identified when compared to its high incidence rate – underlining just how important our #WeAreBloodwise campaign is.
The initial discussions we had with MPs in attendance were very encouraging and a number said they were keen to help us raise the profile of issues affecting blood cancer patients in Parliament, which is great news!
Going forward we will be looking to build on these relationships and work with MPs to ensure the needs of blood cancer patients and their families are firmly on the political agenda.