Indigo is delighted to learn that Beating Bowel Cancer’s Access for All (Scotland) campaign has been selected as a finalist at this year’s Communiqué Awards.
The Communiqué Awards recognise and commend excellence and best practice in local, European and international healthcare communications. The award nomination is in recognition of the campaign’s success in highlighting and lifting the problems both patients and doctors in Scotland were having accessing life-prolonging treatments.
In September 2012, Beating Bowel Cancer was contacted by oncologists in Scotland who were discouraging patients from submitting Independent Patient Treatment Requests (IPTRs) to access treatments not routinely available on the NHS in Scotland. They were frustrated that they could not speak out against a system intended to help access but which was failing cancer patients. Patients told them of their deep distress at being told they couldn’t have particular treatments which were available in England.
Despite Scottish parliamentarians from across the political spectrum acknowledging there was a problem, there was no sense of urgency by government to address the issue. It was clear that someone needed to take responsibility for making the case for change without delay, giving certainty to patients that they would be able to access the drugs that they needed to help prolong their lives.
Indigo supported Beating Bowel Cancer to deliver the Access for All campaign, helping them to work with key politicians, patients and doctors to achieve change. The campaign ensured the issue was raised to the top of the political agenda in Scotland, leading to intense political and media exposure at Holyrood that led directly to reforms that are being enacted today.
Ultimately, those changes stemmed from the formulation of a practical and innovative policy solution, the Triple Lock model, which was devised during the campaign. The new system has Beating Bowel Cancer’s principles at its heart, and helped form the basis of the new Peer-Approved Clinical System, due for launch in May 2014.
We are thrilled to be associated with Beating Bowel Cancer’s successful campaign and look forward to joining them as finalists for the Communiqué Awards ceremony in London on 3rd July to find out whether we have won.