19th June 2024

Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation Joins the Northern Ireland Cancer Charities Coalition

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We’re delighted to announce our membership in the newly launched Northern Ireland Cancer Charities Coalition (NICCC), a collective initiative aimed at improving services and outcomes for cancer patients in Northern Ireland. This coalition represents a significant step forward in ensuring world-class cancer care for all individuals affected by this devastating disease.

The NICCC brings together 34 cancer charities, creating a unified voice to champion the needs of cancer patients across the region. This partnership follows the return of Stormont and aligns Northern Ireland with other UK nations with similar coalitions advocating for cancer patients. Through this collaborative effort, the NICCC will support those living with cancer and work tirelessly to improve cancer services in the country.

We are particularly focused on advocating for urgent improvements to lung cancer services in Northern Ireland. The recommendations of the NI Cancer Strategy remain unimplemented due to funding issues, and we will continue to urge Stormont to address these critical needs.

The coalition’s objectives include:

  • Improving services, outcomes, and support for cancer patients in Northern Ireland.
  • Promoting research into cancer services and prevention.
  • Influencing the priorities, policies, and strategies of the Northern Ireland Assembly.
  • Advocating for the full implementation of the Northern Ireland Cancer Strategy.

A significant moment in the coalition’s formation occurred at Stormont, where Health Minister Mike Nesbitt acknowledged the coalition’s potential to overcome current challenges and deliver the best possible outcomes for cancer patients. The NICCC aims to facilitate more streamlined and unified engagement with government officials, enhancing advocacy efforts and ensuring that the voices of those affected by cancer are heard.

Richard Spratt, Chief Executive of Cancer Focus Northern Ireland and Interim Chair of the NICCC, highlighted the coalition’s mission to provide a stronger, united voice for cancer patients, especially in times of governmental instability. The coalition will promote greater collaboration among charities, tackle issues like urgent funding for the Cancer Strategy, and address the worsening waiting times for cancer treatment.

The official launch of the NICCC marks the beginning of a new era in cancer care advocacy in Northern Ireland. Inspired by successful counterparts in other UK nations, the coalition will strive to make a lasting impact on cancer services and patient outcomes.

We are proud to be part of this vital initiative and look forward to working closely with our fellow coalition members to achieve our shared goals.