Monday marked the Policy team speaking and engaging with MPs and delegates for the second day of the 2018 Labour Party annual conference. Keilan Arblaster reports
We spoke with Helen Hayes MP about continuing Tessa Jowell’s relentless campaigning, agreeing to honour her legacy to bring about better conditions and outcomes for brain tumour patients all over the country.
Ronnie Campbell MP chatted whilst disclosing his own personal struggle following a stomach cancer diagnosis two years ago.
Neil Findlay MSP, Gareth Thomas MP, Neil Thomas Symonds MP and Dianne Abbott MP also showed their support for our cause.
Bambos Charalambous MP, engaged with the work of The Charity, was keen to find out more about our pioneering BRIAN project.
Lastly, Toby Perkins MP (pictured) took top spot for our ‘crack the code’ game, gleefully knocking off his office-share, Kevin Brennan MP.
At fringe events throughout the day, we heard from Dr Paul Williams MP who spoke of the necessity to instil an early intervention, as opposed to reactive, healthcare system, particularly when it comes to drugs and treatments.
More importantly, Luciana Berger MP advocated a healthcare system that works smarter and more efficiently to ensure patient choice is at the forefront of drug and medicines policy.
We also attended an event held by the NHS Confederation about the NHS workforce.
Of course, lots of people in the room were worried about the numbers and coping with ever increasing demand, a large part of why we have started funding our own CNS posts within the NHS as we work with them to try and find more long term solutions.
They also discussed how the working environment is not conducive to retaining staff, who are desperate to do a good job.
One nurse gave an example of having to go into work 30 minutes early to boot up the computer, as that is how long it takes and she cannot see patients until it has finished.
This mirrors our own experiences of nurses wanting to give out our information but are prevented by antiquated IT systems.
Clearly this must change.
Our final event focused on a discussion around the priorities for investment in the healthcare system.
We heard Jon Ashworth MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Health, emphasising the importance of investment in children’s health in their early years.
Throughout the conference he has been vocal about a person’s birthplace having a negative impact on health and access to treatment and care.
He made clear eradicating health inequality would be a priority of a Labour government.
As we look forward to the next full day at the conference, we are determined to put the issue of free data high up on MPs agendas in order to make BRIAN a success and accelerate us closer to a cure.