Eric Ollerenshaw column

Eric Ollerenshaw.
Eric Ollerenshaw.

Last week saw the launch of the second report ‘A Roadmap to Change’ from the All Party Parliamentary Group on Pancreatic Cancer which I chair.

This report has been drawn up following a six month Inquiry, held between March and September this year, which set out to establish how we could increase the quality and quantity of pancreatic cancer research in the UK.

The APPG has made 14 recommendations that tackle, among other things, increasing the amount of funding going into pancreatic cancer research; reducing bureaucracy holding back clinical trials; recruiting more researchers into the pancreatic cancer field; and the need for a UK-wide research strategy for all ‘cancers of unmet need’ like pancreatic cancer, lung cancer, etc.

It is felt that if adopted these recommendations would make a real difference, helping to develop new early diagnosis tests, more effective treatments and, ultimately, working towards an opportunity for a cure.

I would like to thank all of my colleagues, from both Commons and Lords, who took part in the Inquiry; the experts who took the time and trouble to give evidence; the members of the public who attended the meetings; and Pancreatic Cancer UK for their continued support as the APPG’s secretariat.

I am also grateful to Jeremy Hunt, The Health Secretary for his continued interest.

In many ways the launch of this report was extremely well timed as it coincided with the start of Pancreatic UK’s awareness month – where iconic buildings across the UK were bathed in purple.

Here in Lancaster we saw the museum turn purple when Lancaster joined hundreds of buildings across the country in marking this event.

Finally, this week is National Adoption Week – since its launch in 1997 it has gone from strength to strength in establishing what a difference adoption can make to children in care, especially those who often wait the longest to be adopted.

More information is available at www.nationaladoptionweek.org.uk/adoption.