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Driving change in Scotland

Our Policy & Public Affairs Officer, Helena Brown, reports from Scotland

Last week, Helena from our Policy & Public Affairs Team (pictured far right) was in Edinburgh attending key events at the Scottish Parliament.

The third meeting of the Scotland Steering Committee was held at DWF LLP in Edinburgh and included many our supporters along with Sarah Lindsell our CEO.

The group was established last year after a roundtable discussion in the Scottish Parliament to drive our ambitious policy agenda across Scotland.

“The committee is passionate about ensuring that outcomes improve for everyone affected by a brain tumour,” said Helena. “The committee includes patients, carers, charity representatives and a researcher all united in their desire to change the status quo.

“We are working together to ensure that brain tumours are diagnosed earlier and that patient experience improves until brain tumours are defeated.

“High on the agenda, was the recent motion passed by Fife Council. Cllr Ryan Smart (second from right) submitted a motion at a full council meeting earlier this year which focused on the council committing to the HeadSmart campaign, which highlights the signs and symptoms of brain tumours in babies, children and teenagers.

“It was unanimously passed and Ryan is now working as part of the Scotland Steering Committee to ensure as many people in Fife as possible are aware of HeadSmart.

“A sub-group is to be established which will ensure that awareness of the signs and symptoms of brain tumours increase across Scotland. This campaign is vital and helps to prevent misdiagnosis of brain tumours, which remain the biggest cancer killer of children and adults under 40.”

As a charity, we need to ensure that everyone, from healthcare professionals to parents is informed.

Helena also attended the Cross Party Group on Cancer, where the Less Survivable Cancers Taskforce, a coalition we helped to establish in 2017 shared their priorities for 2019.

“We will continue to work as part of the LSCT, which represents people with brain, liver, oesophageal, liver, lung and pancreatic cancers, to create a better future for people diagnosed with these cancers.

“Survival rates must improve and this will require a multi-faceted approach, including investment in more research whilst also communicating to the public the signs and symptoms of these cancers.”

We will continue to work alongside people affected by brain tumours in Scotland, ensuring that brain tumours remain on the political agenda.