Rebecca Gladstone is the Policy and Public Affairs Officer at Anthony Nolan. Before joining the charity in January 2014, she worked as a lobbyist for the transport sector. You can follow her on twitter at @rgladstone91, or get in touch at Rebecca.Gladstone@anthonynolan.org.
Given that I spend my professional life (and far more of my personal life than I’m willing to admit) watching events in Parliament, I am always the person my friends turn to if they want a better understanding of something they have seen or read in the news, or if a politics question pops up in the pub quiz.
So unsurprisingly, over the past few weeks and months, a large number of my friends, family and colleagues have been asking me what I think the government will look like when we wake up tomorrow morning – the day after the 2015 general election.
And honestly, I wish I knew.
With the Conservatives and Labour neck and neck in the polls, and with the rise of smaller parties such as the SNP and UKIP making the possibility of coalition ever more likely, it’s becoming more and more evident that the days of a simple Conservative/Labour majority outcome are a thing of the past.
So what will replace it? Another coalition? A minority government? Although political alliances seem to be forming, none of the parties will confirm or deny whether they would be willing to work alongside others to form the next government.
However there is one thing I can be certain about.
According to the party manifestos, the NHS looks to benefit.
The Conservative and Liberal Democrat parties have both pledged to deliver an extra £8 billion investment in the NHS by 2020, in line with the recommendations of NHS Chief Executive Simon Stevens. Labour has said it will invest in 20,000 more nurses and 8,000 more GPs, and will create a Cancer Treatment Fund so patients have access to the latest drugs, surgery and radiotherapy.
All three main political parties have also committed to placing greater priority on mental health and social care, to alleviate pressure on hospitals and better support patients in the home. Significant emphasis has also been placed on improving early diagnosis of serious conditions, and supporting innovation to ensure patients have access to the latest medicines and procedures.
And, assuming the parties keep their promises, this can only be good news for Anthony Nolan and blood cancer patients.
So what will we wake up to tomorrow morning?
Whatever the outcome of the election, our aims will remain the same.
Whatever the country decides, we will be working hard over the months that follow to make sure that the new government knows exactly what needs to be done to ensure that every person in need of a transplant is able to find a match, and that every person who receives a transplant is cured of their disease and able to return to a normal life.
And for the next five years, and beyond, we will still work with every MP in every party to make sure they know who we are, the importance of what we do, and how they can help.
We will still give transplant patients a voice in Westminster, and will continue to represent every person who has had their lives affected by a stem cell transplant.
Anthony Nolan has remained the most prominent voice in blood cancer for over 40 years. 10 governments have been and gone in that time, and we have continued to grow from strength to strength.
We’re still going to be here in another 10 governments’ time, and we’re going to be even stronger. Whatever tomorrow brings.
Find out how you can support Anthony Nolan’s campaigns at www.anthonynolan.org/campaigns