I don’t think I have ever seen such a period of rapid change in my lifetime. Entire industries that appeared to be at the heart of our world, being wiped out in front of our eyes. Shops, restaurants, and pubs are being decimated which will make our city centres no longer attractive places to visit. The possibility of carefree holidays in the sun seems still years away! My personal view is that in many cases these changes had already started pre-covid, and just accelerated as the pandemic hit. Most of us had become Amazon converts years ago, so the fact that our shops are closing should not be a major surprise.
We now find ourselves at a crossroads. Where do we go from here? In most cases what we relied on in the past will not be an accurate guide for what the future will bring. What can we accurately predict now? As more and more business goes online, it reminds me of the out of town shopping boom. That was the future, attracting families to vast malls, with no inner city parking problems. Everything in one place, what a great idea! Today, these malls are full of empty shops with people buying goods from their home. Will we get fed up with the Internet in the future? Maybe department stores will come back into fashion? All possible but not in my lifetime.
One thing that has unfortunately not changed, is the seriousness of the cancer issue! Pushed back yet again by covid and barely mentioned by Government. Still killing more people than the virus, with that figure bound to increase as delays get longer. This is one of the most predictable things about these current times. Must we just continue to accept cancer deaths as a sacrifice that society is happy to continue with? 450 people die every day of the year! We all know someone who is affected by cancer, but why do we continue to stay silent as the people responsible hide, within a very fragmented, complex, self serving sector.
Where are the large charities, cancer tsar, head of cancer care in this country when you need them? Giving the odd soundbite to show they are still awake is not good enough! I know pharma is still working as I’m still seeing new trials, but nothing like pre-pandemic levels. Let’s be honest the real focus is of course on the virus. As a country we were never the best, but one of the better places to be with cancer. One of the things I believe that halts progress is the fact there are so many organisations pulling in their own direction with entirely different agendas. Not one clear voice!
But today, that changes. I have been working behind the scenes with Roger Tempest to produce this incredible document. A survey for EVERYONE that wants to have a voice for the future of cancer services in this country. This document is for literally ANYONE to complete, the more professionals that can do it the better! We want to know exactly what the real issues are according to the people that count. This will then be used to talk to Government and media with evidence. Not only do we want to say how unacceptable the current situation is, but what we need to do to improve it.
I haven’t seen anything like this before in the cancer sector. This is a totally independent document, not looking at each individual part but the issues as a whole. It would be great if you are in the NHS, a GP, working within charity or pharma. Importantly patients and carers too. A lot of time and effort has gone into this and it will only truly be effective if you complete it and share too! Please now DO YOUR BIT.
As we are also at the crossroads in healthcare I believe the chance is now, to improve our services. Patients must be at the heart of all big decisions in every area of it. Unfortunately these changes will not happen if we stay passive. We have seen over many years what that looks like. Cancer is the modern day plague, not covid! Let’s see some parity in the future with world and sector collaboration, like we have achieved for the virus. Perhaps we should have a day of reflection for everyone who has died of cancer? We need to wake up, because it really is now or never!
Your help required!
Please read the attached work, and complete the survey. You will need to download, complete it and mail it back. Yes it will take a few minutes, but hopefully we can start some much needed positive change in the cancer world. We can only achieve this if we work together. Thank you in advance, Chris