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Council becomes first to pass Motion on Pancreatic Cancer

East Hampshire district council has become the first to pass a motion on pancreatic cancer. This pancreatic cancer awareness month.

East Hampshire District Council has made history by becoming the first council in the country to pass a motion on pancreatic cancer. The motion called upon the council to agree to work alongside Pancreatic Cancer Action or other organisations to:

  • Share information about pancreatic cancer and its symptoms on its website and social media channels

  • Offer the Pancreatic Cancer Action occupational health training to staff on symptoms awareness

  • Display symptom awareness posters in the council public buildings each November

  • Provide community groups, charities and partners with information on pancreatic cancer and local support services

  • Ask the Leader of the Council to write to the Secretary of State for Health & Social Care to ensure the incoming Hampshire and Isle of Wight Integrated Care System has the funding needed to support all cancer patients and improve early diagnosis

The motion, which was proposed by Councillor Paula Langley, and seconded by Councillor Stephen Dolan, was passed on Thursday, November 11 at the East Hampshire District Council Full Council meeting. Councillor Langley's own father is one of many who noticed symptoms during the COVID-19 pandemic, however, due to the pressure on the NHS, it led to a late diagnosis. The motion was backed using our survey data which highlighted that 69% of residents in the South East of England "know nothing/almost nothing" about the disease and 74% cannot name a single symptom, with around 1,600 diagnosed with the disease in the region each year.

It was passed unanimously after an emotional debate, with many councillors reflecting upon their own experiences, and had to be stopped for a break during the proceedings.

On the motion being passed, Joe Kirwin, Health Policy & Projects Manager, said: "It's really positive to see East Hampshire District Council being proactive during this, the 10th Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month. We look forward to seeing the results of this motion and will support the council in any way we can as a charity. Thank you to all the councillors for sharing their experiences, particularly Councillor Paula Langley for proposing the motion, and Councillor Stephen Dolan for seconding it."

The work at East Hampshire District Council is only the beginning and highlights how much progress could be made if other councils follow suit.

On World Pancreatic Cancer Day (18th November), Pancreatic Cancer Action in its Decade of Change campaign, is calling on governments across the UK to act now to significantly improve pancreatic cancer survival rates. Pancreatic cancer has under an 8% survival rate and this figure hasn't improved significantly for over 50 years. The charity is urging UK governments to make this a decade of change which sees pancreatic cancer given greater individual focus and is no longer grouped together with other rare and less common cancers. Pancreatic cancer is the 5th biggest cause of cancer death in the UK, however, it is set to become the 4th, overtaking breast cancer by 2026 as other cancers' survival rates continue to improve.

"Being a pancreatic cancer survivor beyond ten years is a very lonely place to be"- Pancreatic Cancer Action CEO & Founder, Ali Stunt on being in the 1% of those who live beyond ten years.

Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month is in its tenth year, started to raise awareness of the symptoms of pancreatic cancer to aid early diagnosis and save lives. That's why for this pancreatic cancer awareness month, we're asking people to share their stories and association with the disease. We want to know the full ins and outs of how you or your loved one has been affected by pancreatic cancer. No piece of information will be too small, insignificant or irrelevant. We want individuals to become the advocate for their bodies and know that if something is not normal for themselves, to speak out to their GP. Knowing the specifics will enable us to inform the changes that are needing to happen in government. By telling us your story, it can help us to identify what research we should support and fund, as well as the educational resources to develop.


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