We attended the Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat party
conferences in England, and the Scottish National Party conference
in Scotland during September and October 2011 to secure support for
In England, we met MPs and local councillors to
ask them to support our quality care project,
which aims to identify standards of quality prostate cancer
All of the local councillors we met agreed to support us by
discussing prostate cancer and our work with their colleagues. They
have agreed to feed back to us about the steps they are able to
take to prioritise prostate cancer care in their local areas.
Most of the MPs we met agreed to speak to men, clinicians and
healthcare professionals in their constituencies about what quality
prostate cancer care means to them. Some MPs also agreed to
ask questions in Parliament about the quality of prostate cancer
services across the country.
In Scotland, we asked MSPs to sign our
Pledge for Prostate Cancer and commit to supporting our work to
reduce inequalities in prostate cancer care. We were delighted that
33 new MSPs signed the pledge, including First Minister, Alex
Salmond. Now, 122 out of 129 MSPs have signed up. This means we
have successfully raised prostate cancer as an important issue
within the Scottish Parliament and have a good base of support for
improving prostate cancer care in Scotland.
We also discussed our quality care work with the MSPs we met and
many of them agreed to consider holding meetings in their
We will continue to work with the MPs, MSPs and local
councillors we met during the conferences throughout the year to
push for improvements in prostate cancer care across the UK.
What are party conferences?
Party conferences are the annual meetings of political parties
in the UK. The main political parties hold a large annual
conference, usually in the autumn, as well as a smaller spring
conference. Each conference is different but, in general, political
parties use them to decide party business, elect leaders and set
the party's agenda for the coming year. Politicians, local
councillors, party members and people who want to influence the
party's policies attend conference because it offers opportunities
to discuss a range of issues.
Why does the Charity attend party
The Charity attends party conferences to help us raise awareness
of prostate cancer and the needs of people affected by the disease
among politicians and local councillors. Attending conference
is a good way to meet and network with the people who can help us
make improvements to prostate cancer services and care.