Launch of the Children and Young People Cancer Coalition

Rainbow Trust is pleased to be a member of the Children and Young People Cancer Coalition, which launches today. The coalition brings together 15 organisations supporting children and young people with cancer and their families.

More than 4,000 children and young people are diagnosed with cancer each year in the UK, with 11 new diagnoses each day. A third of the children supported by Rainbow Trust each year have a cancer diagnosis.

Zillah Bingley, CEO of Rainbow Trust Children’s Charity, said:

‘Four out of five children and young people will survive cancer for five years or more, but 10 children and young people still die every week in the UK. Through this coalition Rainbow Trust will be working with other major charities to improve outcomes for children and young people with cancer, and their families.

If the government is serious about making progress on its ambitions to improve care and support for people with cancer, it is essential that the specific needs of this age group are recognised. This is why the coalition is pressing for action in key areas, including improved access to clinical trials and to psychological support, and to palliative care which remains inequitable depending on where a child or young person lives.’

The coalition’s first initiative has been to write to Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care setting out these concerns. Other points made include the need for a better experience of diagnosis, since children and young people are over-represented in those patients who are diagnosed through emergency admission. The letter also requests an update on ensuring every child or young person has access to a Cancer Nurse Specialist, and has a tailored recovery package. You can read the full letter here.

The launch of the coalition in May 2018 marks two years since NHS England published an action plan on cancer, setting out its ambitions for cancer treatment and services up until 2020. As well as providing a unified voice to government, the coalition will enable the charities to work more closely together and share good practice.