Contact your local MP: Ovacoming together

Ovacome is asking you to join us in raising the profile of ovarian cancer by contacting your MP ask them to help us to Ovacome it together. Ovacome has already written to MPs in England with local data and information on ovarian cancer but we know that we’ll have a bigger impact if you are involved.

We are calling for a focus on:

  • Improving early diagnosis
  • Ensuring high quality ovarian cancer service standards
  • Ensuring access to the best treatment
  • Protecting the role of clinical nurse specialists
Being an advocate for Ovacome

There are a number of ways in which you can help us to get your MP involved and raise the profile of ovarian cancer. Some MPs are already active in campaigning on ovarian cancer issues from a local and national perspective; others are unaware of the impact of the disease on patients, families and the NHS.

You can help by telling your MP about ovarian cancer and about how they can get involved. You could:

  • Request a meeting at your local MP’s constituency surgery to speak to your MP face to face
  • Write a letter or email to your local MP talking about your personal experience of ovarian cancer and asking them to take action to improve ovarian cancer services
  • Invite your MP to your local meeting or event to give them the opportunity to hear from other Ovacome supporters
How to find and contact your local MP
Finding your MP

If you are unsure who your MP is, then you can find out by typing your postcode into the website www.theyworkforyou.com

All MPs can be contacted at the House of Commons. The address is:
House of Commons
London
SW1A 0AA

The main House of Commons switchboard number is: 0207 219 3000

What to expect when you contact your MP

Most MPs have an office in their constituency that can help with arranging a meeting or advising you when and where your MP’s ‘surgery’ will be held (usually weekly, on a Friday).

Your MP won’t expect you to know about the detail of health policy issues on ovarian cancer, but will want to hear about what you have experienced and how you have been affected. They are also likely to want to know what they can do to help – this is where you can urge them to show their support by taking part in at least one of the actions below:

  • Becoming a Parliamentary Friend of Ovacome and working with us to keep ovarian cancer on the agenda in Parliament
  • Meeting with Ovacome in Westminster to find out what they can do to improve ovarian cancer services in their area
  • Writing to local NHS commissioners to find out what they are doing to improve the experience of ovarian cancer patients in your area (we can provide the contact details)
  • Asking Parliamentary Questions about ovarian cancer
  • Requesting a template press release highlighting their support for Ovacome and ovarian cancer
  • Using their twitter feed to raise awareness of ovarian cancer – tweeting about meeting you and about what others can do
  • Putting details about ovarian cancer and Ovacome on their website and/or in their constituency newsletter
  • Putting the BEAT widget on their website so that women can track their symptoms
After your meeting

Please email us on l.bayne@ovacome.org.uk to tell us how your meeting went and how your MP offered to help. You can also get in touch with us using the telephone and address details below.
If you use Twitter and/or Facebook please consider adding a post to let people know that you’ve had the meeting. It will help our supporters to know what we’re doing to help raise awareness of ovarian cancer and might encourage others to get involved too:

  • • Blog about your meeting on My Ovacome: ovacome.healthunlocked.com
    • Join us on Facebook and share your ideas and experiences of speaking to your MP: www.facebook.com/ovacome
    • Tweet about meeting your MP and share it with other Ovacome supporters by including @ovacome
Ovacoming together: Making a difference for ovarian cancer patients

Ovacome report calls for action to improve survival rates for ovarian cancer patients

Ahead of the General Election in 2015, we have produced a report setting out what steps need to be taken to improve survival for women affected by ovarian cancer in England.

Ovacoming together – Making a difference for ovarian cancer patients was based on the findings of a short survey of Ovacome’s membership. It highlights that more work needs to be done to improve symptom awareness and early diagnosis; access to the latest, most effective treatment options; and support for those women living with and beyond ovarian cancer.

We have made a number of specific calls for the Government, Opposition and NHS aimed at achieving our goal of improving ovarian cancer survival.

The report was launched on 16 July 2014 at an event in Westminster, sponsored by Fiona Mactaggart MP. At the event our members had the opportunity to speak with MPs about the challenges faced by ovarian cancer patients and their families, and the changes that need to be made to make a difference for those affected by the disease.

We have also produced a campaigning toolkit to help our members and supporters raise the profile of the issues most important to them.

Campaigning toolkit – how to help us make a difference

As many of you will know, Ovacome provides information, advice and support to women affected by ovarian cancer and their families and friends through our nurse-led telephone helpline, online forum and members’ newsletter.

In addition to these services, the charity has been working hard to campaign nationally for high quality care for ovarian cancer patients.  Our work has focused on increasing awareness of the signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer, highlighting what matters most to patients from their care and making the case for better access to the latest treatments.

To increase the impact of our campaigning activity, we are encouraging all of our supporters to help raise the profile of those issues most important to women affected by ovarian cancer.  We know that by involving you in what we do, we can have a greater impact because it is your experiences and insights that have the biggest influence on those people and organisations responsible for ovarian cancer services.

Recent changes to the NHS have placed a strong emphasis on empowering patients to be more involved in decisions about their care, shaping the way their care is provided and how services are organised.

This toolkit is intended to give you background information and resources to help you to campaign effectively for better patient outcomes and improved standards of care.  It includes:

  • A summary of the key challenges for ovarian cancer services and calls to actions
  • Key facts on the impact of ovarian cancer
  • Tips on how you can campaign for better ovarian cancer care and give a voice to patients and carers
  • Advice on key campaigning issues
  • Details of how to find contact details for your elected representatives and NHS organisations

The toolkit was launched at our recent drop-in event in Westminster on 16 July, where Ovacome members were given tips and advice on how to campaign locally and highlight key ovarian cancer issues.

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