Jeff stands against cancer at party conference

Shoulder to Shoulder

Manchester Withington MP Jeff Smith has backed an appeal from Cancer Research UK for more NHS staff to deliver the life-saving cancer tests and treatments people need.

Jeff met with campaigners from the charity during the Labour Party Conference last month to hear about the “Shoulder to Shoulder Against Cancer” campaign.

It calls for everyone to stand with the NHS and urge the UK Government to tackle the chronic shortage of staff who diagnose and treat the disease.

Every year, 2100 people are diagnosed with cancer in Manchester and as the population grows and ages, that number is only set to rise.

More staff are urgently needed to keep up with the demand for life-saving tests and treatments, yet already 1 in 10 NHS diagnostic posts are unfilled.

Speaking after the meeting, Jeff said:

“Many of us have been affected by cancer in some way, and 1 in 2 of us will be diagnosed in our lifetimes.

Speeding up diagnosis and improving treatment depends on having a qualified workforce but right now the NHS is facing a chronic staff shortage. We need investment now in the radiographers, radiologists and pathologists who will drive up survival rates in the future.

That’s why I’m backing Cancer Research UK’s Shoulder to Shoulder campaign.”

Shaun Walsh, Head of Public Affairs and Campaigns at Cancer Research UK, said:

“Over 170 UK parliamentarians from across the political spectrum are already backing the Shoulder to Shoulder campaign, and we’re grateful to Jeff for his support.

This is a critical opportunity for cancer care in the UK. By 2035, more than 500,000 people are expected to be diagnosed with cancer every year across the UK, an increase of more than 150,000 people on 2015 levels.

By acting now and investing in the early diagnosis and treatments workforce, so many more lives could be saved.”


For more information visit or join the conversation on twitter #ShouldertoShoulder.

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