After years of us campaigning, Northern Ireland's Department of Health says it's now likely to develop a strategy for the only Home Nation without one – and we're making sure prostate cancer is a key part of it.
Northern Ireland's Department of Health has today confirmed that it's likely to develop a cancer strategy for the country. It is currently the only Home Nation without one and is something we've long campaigned for as crucial for helping men there at risk of prostate cancer, or living with and after the disease.
Last week, we held a roundtable meeting at Stormont, where a lack of a functioning executive has made any potential cancer strategy impossible so far. Key Members of the Legislative Assembly, health officials and charity representatives attended and agreed with us that prostate cancer treatment and care should be a key part of any future plans.
"It's great news that the Department of Health is finally reviewing whether to develop a cancer strategy for Northern Ireland," says Martin Abrams, our Change Delivery Manager, who attended the roundtable (pictured above).
"As we stated at the Northern Ireland Affairs committee on health funding earlier this year, the establishment of a comprehensive cancer strategy will be crucial to improving access to the latest diagnostic tests and treatments for prostate cancer, as well as getting the necessary workforce in place as the numbers of men affected increases.
"For too long, Northern Ireland has been the only nation of the UK without an ambitious strategy in place to ensure services are updated and developed as the needs of cancer patients evolve. We will be maintaining pressure around this issue until plans for a cancer strategy are confirmed, and will continue to champion the needs of men with prostate cancer throughout the process so that more lives can be saved."