Jim Dickson, Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing at Lambeth Council, is standing up for men with prostate cancer by backing a new initiative led by Prostate Cancer UK. Lambeth is the area of England where a man is most likely to develop the disease and Councillor Dickson has vowed to champion a new Quality Checklist of 15 national standards to help these men receive the best supportive care possible.
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men and set to be the most common cancer overall by 2030. Prostate Cancer UK has produced the Checklist in the face of growing evidence of vast variations in the quality of care men with the disease receive across the country. This is a best practice guide for men and clinicians which shows the care and support men with prostate cancer should except at every step of their journey.
Launching the Quality Checklist at the Lambeth Accord this week, Councillor Jim Dickson said: "Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men, and I am acutely aware that men in Lambeth are more likely to develop the disease than anywhere else in England. If we are to ensure every one of these men gets the care that they need and deserve then we must empower communities to take charge of their own health as well as help implement best practice amongst health professionals in the Borough.
"That is why we are proud to launch Prostate Cancer UK's Quality Checklist. We are optimistic that with this initiative we can help improve things for men in Lambeth and embrace the challenge of ensuring it is embedded through health providers."
As well as being the area of the country where prostate cancer is most prevalent, Lambeth also has a high African Caribbean population - ten times higher than the rest of England. As African Caribbean men are three times* more likely to develop prostate cancer than white men of the same age, this makes the situation for men in the Borough even more acute.
Owen Sharp, Chief Executive of Prostate Cancer UK said: "There are 250,000 men living with prostate cancer in the UK and this number is set to rise at an alarming rate. It is vital that all these men get the quality of care they need and deserve wherever they are in the country if we are to ensure more of these men have a better quality of life in the future.
"We strongly welcome the support of Jim Dickson and his colleagues at Lambeth Council for the Quality Checklist and look forward to working together to ensure its swift and effective implementation across the borough. I call on health providers and commissioners across the country to follow their lead and adopt and implement the checklist without delay. Men with prostate cancer deserve the best, and we're absolutely determined that's exactly what they are going to get."
The Checklist has already been endorsed by over 120 MPs and a number of health professional organisations. Prostate Cancer UK is continuing to work closely with men and their families, healthcare providers, politicians and health professionals to ensure that the checklist is adopted and implemented throughout the UK.
*Things have changed since this was published. Find out more.