Researchers from Queen’s University Belfast and the University of Leeds, as part of a pan-European partnership called the European Cancer Concord (ECC) ®, have won the prestigious 2018 European Health Award.
This award honours initiatives that help tackle some of Europe’s most pressing health challenges.
The award-winning project, entitled ‘The European Cancer Patient’s Bill of Rights: A Catalyst for Change and an empowerment tool for cancer patients across Europe’ involves an equal partnership between cancer patients, healthcare professionals and cancer researchers.
Professor Mark Lawler, Vice President of the European Cancer Concord (ECC), today received the award on behalf of ECCO during the opening ceremony of the European Health Forum Gastein, the premier European Health Policy Conference and an official event of the Austrian European Council Presidency.
One of the key outputs from the research has been the development of a 70:35 Vision, 70 per cent long term survival for all cancer patients across Europe by 2035.
“Our 70:35 Vision is built upon the pillars of cross border and interdisciplinary cooperation, sharing best practice and ensuring that research and innovation gets translated for the benefit of patients,” explained Professor Peter Selby, Professor of Cancer Medicine at the University of Leeds and President of ECC. “This is a superb example of how cooperative European activities that involve sharing best practice between countries can result in top class prize-winning initiatives.”
Professor Lawler commented: “Cancer knows no borders, so it is important that we work together to develop solutions that address cancer inequalities in all parts of Europe. I am immensely proud to be accepting this award, not only on behalf of our team who have worked together over the last five years on this initiative, but also on behalf of the millions of European citizens who are living with and beyond cancer, and experiencing cancer inequalities every single day of their lives.”
Working in close partnership with European patient organisations and professional societies has been a key part of the initiative.
“Patients have been at the heart of this initiative,” said Dr Ian Banks, Chair of the ECCO Patient Advisory Committee and Vice President ECC. “Addressing cancer inequalities and ensuring equal access to precise information, to quality diagnostics and to optimum care, will lead to improved outcomes for cancer patients.”
ECCO’s President Professor Philip Poortmans said: “The success of this initiative, recognised by the 2018 European Health Award, highlights how interdisciplinary partnerships are the key to finding solutions that will improve cancer control across Europe and help enhance patients outcomes.”
Speaking at the award ceremony, Professor Lawler said: “Cooperation is the key to this initiative. We need to compete, not against each other, but against our common enemy – Cancer.”