Dr Michael Tilby- Opinion Editorial (UK COVID/cancer clinical lead)
Our UKCCP pandemic response programme for cancer patients was one of the first to be established at the start of the pandemic in March 2020. One of our key aims is to ensure that our data is used to bring about meaningful health benefits.
Together our teams have already delivered 13 publications. This is a great achievement and a testament to the hard work of our network. It highlights the great strides we have made in the clinical and academic sphere. Our work continues to pull the clinical and academic spotlight to the UK and our work reaches across the globe.
However, we aspire to be in a position whereby our projects lead to improved care for cancer patients through influencing policy change. This means that our data should feed up to central government and is acknowledged to highlight the difference in risk between cancer patients and non-cancer populations and improve access to the right treatments.
We routinely feed our preliminary project reports to the Department of Health and Social Care, NHS England and the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation.
It is now great to see that our programme of work is starting to have impact. The project was commended by the Feb 2022 inquiry report of the All Party Parliamentary Groups for Vulnerable groups. It noted the importance and benefit of our research in delivering important data on vulnerable groups very quickly. Our data also formed the basis of recently published May 2022 independent government report identifying cancer patients most in need of further protection.
None of this work would be possible without the team of over 250 people who have contributed over the years since our formation. We continue in our mission to safeguard, evaluate and protect cancer patients during this pandemic, and I am delighted for your help and support in enabling us to deliver on these aspirations.