The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Stem Cell Transplantation, of which Anthony Nolan is the secretariat, has today (5 August) launched an inquiry seeking to understand how a patient’s background can lead to barriers in accessing treatment and care.
Exploring barriers to accessing treatment and care is more relevant than ever, with the COVID-19 pandemic exposing and amplifying existing health inequalities.
The purpose of the APPG inquiry is to understand variations to treatment and care for stem cell transplantation patients, and explore recommendations to address the inequalities highlighted.
The inquiry is keen to hear from a range of groups including patients and their families, clinicians and healthcare professionals, researchers, policymakers and charities and will be working in conjunction with partners like The National Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) Transplant Alliance to learn about patient experience.
Written evidence can be submitted online and a parliamentary oral evidence session will take place online in November.
Speaking on behalf of the Anthony Nolan and NHS Stem Cell Registry, Henny Braund said:
“There is some evidence that shows a disparity in access to treatment for patients with a Black, Asian or minority ethnic background, and we know that these patients are much less likely to find a good matching stem cell donor.
“This will be the first time we’ve done a broader examination of barriers faced by minority ethnic patients and others across the whole pathway. What might prevent a stem cell transplant patient getting the treatment and care they need?
“This inquiry will help identify issues patients face, raising awareness amongst parliamentarians; and it’ll form the foundations of our vital work in addressing the inequalities faced by patients from different backgrounds.”
The inquiry launches today, with a report to be published by Christmas.