On March 22nd In Wales, the 20 page cancer delivery plan (CDP) had been replaced by a vague 3 quality statement. (QS)
The WHO recommends every nation should have a CDP and just like that Wales became the only nation in the UK without one.
The work started out almost immediately. I initially sent emails to representatives within the cross party group for cancer and set to FB, Insta, Twitter and LI to rally any Welshie’s willing to help. From there I drafted an ’email pack’ with links to the new QS and the older CPD, two articles (one from Welsh cancer alliance and Cancer research UK) pinpointing what was wrong with the QS, Links to who represents each area for the Cross Party group in the Senedd and finally an example an email to send with amendable entries.
Very quickly my social inbox’s started to swell and these make shift ‘packs’ were sent off.
There must have been alot of pressure applied. On 24th March I was informed my concerns were raised during the health ministers questions by chair of the Cross party cancer group – David Rees MS.
From there I started to get replies which resulted in a very positive meeting with David Rees MS.
Luckily In the same week a podcast I was on called ‘Your Killer Life’ a few weeks prior got released, discussing the major issues around ‘hiding’ from the realities of SBC and we discussed all the issues from data, to how little representation SBC gets. This podcast caught the attention of a journalist from Wales online who knows my partner, and he wanted to cover ‘my story’.
But I only agreed if I could use it as a platform for spreading awareness on what was going on in Wales not having a CDP. He agreed and to my absolute amazement, I discovered whole story was picked up by the Mirror and MSN news. The next day I absolutely burst out laughing when I seen my picture on the front of our local paper.
The exposure has been very helpful and along with my digging and being referred here and there, I have manged to make some very useful alliances with MacMillan.
The next steps for me is to compile an email covering all pressure points and send to all parties running in this pre-election period. I will then get as many people as I can to send these emails as this worked so well before – I want whoever is the new party running Welsh Government to feel this is one of the major issues which needs to be tackled first and with my new contacts and alliances I am extremely optimistic we may be able to start making some really progress here in Wales, despite this set back.
At times I feel so overwhelmed. Before SBC I was a cocktail slinging- come outdoor activity instructor and occasional painter, needless to say this is absolutely alien to me, but I am not afraid to constantly ask for help and luckily having found myself as a MET UP UK member I always have a stream of amazing people to give me advice. And we’ll keep doing it for the 31.