Living With and Beyond Cancer workshop success

More than 70 members of the public, healthcare professionals, and local and national charities gave their views to help inform the future of cancer services in the county at a workshop held by Buckinghamshire CCG and Macmillan Cancer Support in May 2018.

The event formed part of the multi-agency Living With and Beyond Cancer Project, which has been running since last September.

Currently, Buckinghamshire is above the national average for our cancer survival rates. The number of people patients living with cancer or beyond treatment is expected to double in Buckinghamshire by 2030 (to 31,500), with the latest predictions from Cancer Research forecasting that one in two people will develop cancer at some point in their lives.

The workshop heard from healthcare professionals and voluntary sector advocates for patients, and attendees – a mix of some professionals and (largely) members of the public affected by cancer -considered a number of themes in round-table discussions.

Their feedback was collected and will be added to the views and comments already amassed through an online survey and face-to-face interviews.

Subjects discussed spanned the current health & social care system and included the provision and need for better information and communication with patients, health and wellbeing challenges during and after treatment, mental health issues, financial concerns, end of life and issues surrounding returning to work after treatment, all demonstrating the need for an integrated multi sectorial approach.

In all, over 300 people offered their views and experiences on a range of subjects. While many people expressed satisfaction with services, many also felt there was room for improvement across the system.

Consistent themes included a desire for more information and tools to support self-management, better support for families and carers, improved support for mental health, better pain management and fatigue services and support, and better communications between services and organisations.

We know there are lots of fantastic support services, support groups, and charities within Buckinghamshire, but we also know we have some gaps. So we are looking at ways in which we can use the services we already have to help fill the gaps. We are working to ensure that different parts of the system – whether primary or secondary care, voluntary sector support, and even services running at different locations – work more closely together to offer a smoother service and meet the needs of the individual in question.

What happens next?

  • We will develop projects around these themes, and work with other programmes within the CCG to transform the way in which support is given to people living with and beyond cancer.
  • We will continue to work with our partners, patients, and their families to make sure that our objectives are met.
  • We will look at ways in which we can deliver support with our partners, patients, and their families. Co-creating is the best way to give different kinds of support, in different places, to meet people’s needs.
  • Work to support and develop an integrated service model of support

A fuller report on the Living With and Beyond Cancer project will be published in due course.