Dame Caroline Dinenage, Member of Parliament for Gosport and Chair of the Culture, Media & Sport Select Committee, has spoken in the debate on the King’s Speech.
Caroline highlighted the urgency of action on childhood cancer, which was not included in the King’s Speech.
The debate focused on building an NHS fit for the future, and improving the way in which we treat, detect and care for children with cancer is absolutely vital to this aim.
Caroline has been campaigning with Stubbington resident Charlotte Fairall since 2021 for a Childhood Cancer Mission, after Charlotte’s daughter Sophie passed away from an aggressive form of cancer, Rhabdomyosarcoma, at the age of just 10, in September 2021.
Caroline and Charlotte have been working to develop and implement a strategy with 5 areas to improve: Timely diagnosis; Pioneering research; Excellent patient experience; World-class treatment; and quality survivorship:
She also welcomed the upcoming Tobacco and Vapes Bill, introduced in the King’s Speech, which will help tackle the largest cause of preventable death and the associated pressures this puts on the NHS.
Similarly, she has welcomed the move to reduce the use of disposable vapes, which not only cause harm to public health but also on the environment.
In her speech, Caroline also highlighted the benefits to public health of the sport sector. She welcomed the new concussion guidance, published by the government earlier this year which encourages everyone in sport to identify and mitigate the risks. She also urged greater research into the links with Dementia
Caroline spoke about her committee’s work on women’s sport, encouraging inclusive and accessible sport for women with equal opportunities in school and better facilities. Pausing briefly to pay tribute to Sir Bobby Charlton, whose memorial service had taken pace earlier in the day, Dinenage went on to praise the government’s introduction of the Football Governance Bill in the King’s Speech with its commitment to set up an independent regulator, ensuring fair funding for clubs.
Finally, she supported the government’s move to introduce the Media Bill in this session, heeding her committee’s advice to ensure that specific genres of content remain under the public service remit.
Speaking in the debate, Caroline said: “The title of today’s debate is Building an NHS Fit for the Future.
“A future-focused NHS means smarter, more efficient and more appropriate treatment as well as earlier detection, and ultimately, prevention.
“We already lead the world in genome sequencing, and we should be harnessing its power. This means a childhood cancer mission.”
Speaking after the debate, Caroline said: “The King’s Speech has many welcome measures, such as the implementation of a smoke free generation, introduction of an independent football regulator, and a strengthened Media Bill following pre-legislative scrutiny from my committee.
“A vital piece of the puzzle is missing, however, in the form of a Childhood Cancer Mission. To build an NHS fit for the future, we must tackle the issue of treatment, detection and care of children diagnosed with cancer.
“I will continue to fight for this cause until we see action.”