MINUTES OF THE APPG MEETING OF 17th July 2017, 16:00
Parliamentary Members in attendance:
Lord Aberdare (Vice-Chair); Nic Dakin MP (Chair); Colleen Fletcher MP; Oliver Heald MP; Kevin Holindrake MP (Vice-Chair); Baroness Masham (Vice-Chair); Virendra Sharma MP; Nick Thomas-Symonds MP (Vice-Chair)
External Members and members of the public:
Maggie Blanks (CEO of Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund); Leah Miller (PCUK – Secretariat to the APPG)
1. Welcome and Introduction
Nic Dakin (Chair) welcomed everyone to the meeting. He explained that the meeting was the Group’s Annual General Meeting (AGM), meaning it would focus on the election of Officers to the Group and on planning the All-Party Parliamentary Group’s future work programme.
Apologies had been received from Graham Brady; Baroness Morgan; Lord Porter of Spalding; and Baroness Thornton.
3. Election of Officers for 2017/18
Nick Thomas-Symonds moved that Nic Dakin be re-elected Chair of the APPG. All members agreed that Nic should continue as Chair.
Lord Aberdare, Baroness Morgan; Lord Patel; Lord Porter of Spalding; and Nick Thomas-Symonds were all re-elected as Officers of the APPG. Kevin Holindrake was also elected as a Vice-Chair of the Group.
The Chair explained that Mark Durkan had lost his seat at the 2017 General Election, whilst Stuart Andrew had been appointed a Government Whip meaning neither could continue to serve the APPG as Officers. The Group agreed that a letter of thanks should be sent to both Mark and Stuart to thank them for their work with the APPG.
4. Group Secretariat
The Chair explained that Pancreatic Cancer UK had acted Secretariat of the APPG since it was first established in 2012. This meant the charity clerked meetings, arranged events and produced reports for the APPG. He asked whether members were happy for the charity to continue in that role. Members present confirmed that they were and thanked Pancreatic Cancer UK for its work.
5. Review of APPG work and achievements over the last year, including update on APPG Early Diagnosis Inquiry
Leah Miller (LM) give an overview of the work the APPGPC had carried out in 2016-17
She explained that the APPG on Pancreatic Cancer held a meeting in September of last year on pancreatic cancer treatments. The meeting considered current standard treatments, emerging treatments and supportive interventions.
The Group had heard from Pancreatic Cancer UK Director of Services, Anna Jewell, who had given an overview of current treatment options. Professor David Cunningham had spoken about emerging therapies, including immunotherapy; Professor Derek Manas spoke about Irreversible Electroporation for Pancreatic Cancer; and Professor Andrew Hart and Dr Andreas Koulouris discussed supportive interventions for pancreatic cancer, and how they can help improve survival.
In November, the APPG held a reception for Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month focused on research. The event featured speeches from PCUK CEO Alex Ford; pancreatic cancer patient Karen Stead; and Mr Satvinder Mudan from the Royal Marsden. The event was well attended with over 20 parliamentarians turning up.
In January 2017, the APPG had launched its Early Diagnosis Inquiry. The group collected written evidence from a number of stakeholders including patients; carers; healthcare professionals; researchers; the third sector; and industry.
A series of oral sessions were also held with a range of experts. The Inquiry report will be launched at an event in Parliament due to be held in November.
6. Discussion around next year’s work plan
LM explained that the Group had been sent a draft forward plan, setting out ideas for meetings for 2017-18.
The first meeting would be the launch of the Early Diagnosis Inquiry report in November.
Other meetings suggested in the forward plan would largely focus on following on work from the Early Diagnosis Inquiry. They would provide an opportunity to look at each recommendation in more detail, discuss any progress made on their implementation and consider additional findings.
The year’s work would culminate in the November Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month reception, looking at progress made implementing the recommendations of the APPG report one year on.
Lord Aberdare suggested that the Group hold a meeting looking at which recommendations of the APPGs report and the Cancer Strategy had been implemented so far.
Maggie Blanks suggested that a meeting be held on palliative care and end of life care. She pointed to a recent case she had heard of where a patient had not received the best care available due to lack of GP awareness of the treatment options. She suggested that the group should look at what can be considered best practice and what data needed collecting to be able to identify best practice.
The group agreed that this would be a good topic for a meeting.
The Chair asked if there was any other business. He then reminded members in attendance that the Early Diagnosis Inquiry report launch would take place in November.
The meeting concluded at 16:30