Dame Caroline Dinenage, MP for Gosport, has today renewed calls for Health Minister, Maria Caulfield, to put a Childhood Cancer Mission at the heart of the government’s Cancer Strategy.
Caroline has been working alongside her constituent, Charlotte Fairall, from Stubbington, to campaign for a Childhood Cancer Mission. Cancer is the biggest cause of death for children under the age of 14 and there are frequently cases of diagnosis coming too late. Charlotte’s daughter, Sophie, tragically passed away from Rhabdomyosarcoma in September 2021, at the age of 10.
Maria Caulfield met earlier this year with Caroline and Charlotte Fairall to discuss their proposal for the Childhood Cancer Mission. Caroline took the opportunity of today’s Health Questions to once again push the Minister for progress on this issue.
Speaking in Oral Questions to the Secretary of State for Health, Caroline said:
“The Minister will know that cancer is the biggest cause of death for children under the age of 14, and there are countless incidence of failure and missed opportunity in how we detect, in how we treat, and how we care for children with cancer.”
“I’m really grateful to the Minister for earlier this year meeting with my constituent, Charlotte Fairall, who tragically lost her daughter Sophie.”
“Does she agree with me that we need a Childhood Cancer Mission embedded in the heart of any cancer strategy if we are serious about saving other families from that tragedy?”
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Mental Health and Women’s Health Strategy, Maria Caulfield said:
“We had a debate on the floor of this house about childhood cancers which she led. I was delighted to meet her constituent Charlotte, who is campaigning hard on this issue.
“I did promise her that we would look at a Childhood Cancer Mission, and we will be updating the House on this shortly on our progress.”
Speaking afterwards, Caroline said:
“Like many people across our area, Sophie’s story deeply impacted me and I promised her wonderful Mum, Charlotte, that I would champion this vital issue in Parliament. The outcomes and experiences facing children diagnosed with cancer are simply not good enough. I have asked to meet the Secretary of State, Steve Barclay MP to try and get his backing for our Childhood Cancer Mission.”