Right now, Kidney Cancer UK is in contact with officials in NHS England, ministers, The Department of Health and Social Care and Members of Parliament and the House of Lords, to ask for the development of guidelines on kidney cancer. These guidelines are produced by NICE, which is the body that produces guidance to help health professionals treat cancers and lots of other conditions with the greatest possible effectiveness.
Kidney cancer overlooked
Unlike most other cancers, kidney cancer does not have any such guidelines. It appears to have been overlooked. This makes it harder for health professionals to provide the best treatment to you, their patient. For example, despite many new treatments being introduced, they are often under-used at the moment. We know that because you told us in our Annual Patient Survey. We know from our research that services vary from one part of the country to another. A NICE guideline would help reduce this variation so that everyone is able to access the care they need no matter where they live in England.
We need a NICE guideline
It is really important that NHS England understand how important NICE kidney cancer guidelines are, as they have to request NICE to do the work. To convince NHS England, we are asking for your help. If you can draw the attention of your MP to this situation and ask if they will write a letter to the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, we believe we can persuade NHS England to act.
We are not alone: The British Association of Urological Surgeons, the Royal College of Radiologists, the Royal College of Physicians and five other similar bodies linked to kidney cancer are supporting our approach to NHS England.
What you can do
Even with all this support, we are much more likely to be successful if policymakers hear from the most important people throughout all this; and that is you, the patients.
Below is a standard letter for you to use. Please add your contact details to it copy and paste it into a clean document and send it by email or by post to your local MP at their office in your constituency. You can find out that information through your library, or by Googling their name if you know it. If you are still stuck, please email us with your postcode and we will send you the details.
If you can add some of your own experiences (good and bad) to the standard letter that would make it even more impactful, and it would be appreciated. However, we understand that you might not want to do so in which case, please just send the letter as it is.
Then what happens?
You should receive a reply from your MP. If you do, please share it with us. Sometimes they might come back with questions; if you are happy to answer them please do, and you can always ask for help from us if you need it. If MPs, including yours, write to the Secretary of State, it sends an important message that these guidelines are important and needed urgently.
Thank you for your support and time, this is a very important time for kidney cancer patients. Your letter will help everyone in England and Wales living with kidney cancer as well untold numbers of people diagnosed with kidney cancer in the future.
For any assistance, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org