Excellence in Communications – Payers/Policymakers

Sponsored by


Access For All (Scotland) Campaign

by Beating Bowel Cancer, in association with Indigo

Summary of work

In September 2012 we were contacted by oncologists in Scotland who were discouraging patients from submitting Independent Patient Treatment Requests (IPTRs). They were frustrated that they could not speak out against a system intended to help access but which was failing cancer patients. 

Despite Scottish parliamentarians from across the political spectrum acknowledging there was a problem, there was no sense of urgency by Government or even some cancer charities in Scotland to address the issue. It was clear that someone needed to take responsibility for making the case for change without delay, giving certainty to patients that they would be able to access the drugs that they needed to help prolong their lives. 

Our resulting Access for All Campaign lifted the problems with IPTRs to the top of the national political agenda, as a subject on which First Minister Alex Salmond and Health Secretary Alex Neil were answering questions in Parliament and in the media. The Campaign delivered a practical policy change based on our proposed Triple Lock model. The new system has our principles at its heart with a new Peer-Approved Clinical System, due to be launched in May 2014.

Judges’ comments

Beating Bowel Cancer saw an opportunity and seized it. A very impressive, well managed and strong all-round campaign with great positive results that were so well deserved. This wasn't about consensual policy but driving policy. It was bold, exciting and well executed to build a strong brand north of the border. They worked exceptionally hard and thoroughly deserve the credit for what they achieved.