If you have been affected by cancer and would like to help improve local cancer services then why not consider joining the South Tees NHS Cancer Patient and Carer Group?
The group is made up of patients and carers from the Friarage Hospital and The James Cook University Hospital as well as some of the NHS staff who work in cancer services.
Cathy Peacock, who chairs the group, joined with her husband Trevor, who was treated for gastro oesophageal cancer at James Cook, because she wanted to do something interesting, useful and close to her heart.
“As a group we want to work with the NHS in positive and constructive ways to improve cancer services for everyone,” she said.
“Patients and carers have valuable insights to give because they are or have been on the receiving end of treatment and care.”
Vice-chair and patient Jon Winn said he joined the group because he wanted to give something back to the team that did everything they could to make him well again.
“Cancer affects just about everyone in some way or another,” he said. “Not everything is perfect but there are a lot of dedicated, enthusiastic people who are doing their best to provide a great service, they need and deserve our support to improve those services.”
South Tees NHS Cancer Patient and Carer Group was launched four years ago and has worked on a variety of projects including:
- The refurbishment of the Trinity Holistic Centre
- Improving access to the travel office
- Improving food on the chemotherapy ward
- Speaking at staff conferences
- Improving communications for treatment options and research trials
- Participating in the trust review of patient information
- Ensuring the involvement of carers when diagnostic test results are given
- Improving facilities for teenagers and young adults
Lead cancer nurse Nicky Hand said: “The cancer patient and carer group has done a huge amount of work to enhance the patient experience and it would be great to see even more people getting involved.”
Meetings are held at the hospitals four times a year and the next one takes place at James Cook on 16 April from 9.30am to 11.30am.