Patients’ chance to shape future

Deborah Loftus, Lead Nurse for Cancer and End of Life Care at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals
Deborah Loftus, Lead Nurse for Cancer and End of Life Care at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals
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Fylde coast cancer patients are invited to give their views at a special event to help plan the future of cancer services.

The World Café Listening Event will be held on Monday, July 11, at a hotel in Blackpool (venue yet to be confirmed) and will give people chance to share their experiences and help to improve services for others.

A similar open space event, held in 2015, was the first of its kind in the North West and the team of organisers said the response from patients and carers was overwhelmingly positive.

Sponsored by Macmillan Cancer Support, the event will be hosted by Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust with the support of Fylde and Wyre Clinical commissioning Group (CCG) and Blackpool CCG.

Due to participant feedback, two events will be held simultaneously on the day to enable patients who have work commitments to attend.

The afternoon session will start at 1.30pm and the early evening session at 4.30pm. A high tea will be served to allow all participants to get together.

Organisers would like people of all ages to come along, to discuss their experiences as patients and carers at this year’s World Café event.

The aim is to identify common themes so cancer services can be improved for everyone.

Jez Such, Macmillan development manager, said: “Our World Café Listening Event is a way of inviting patients and carers to share their collective experiences to improve cancer services.

“We had an amazing turn-out last year and we want to engage with even more people who are affected by cancer.”

Deborah Loftus, lead nurse for cancer and end of life care at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals, said: “We are running this event as a World Café because it will be a structured conversational process.

“The intention is to facilitate open and intimate discussion. All participants will be invited and encouraged to speak and listen because the experience of patients and carers is important to us.”

Dr Karen Green, a clinical psychologist for the trust, who was one of the facilitators at last year’s event, said: “It was a great opportunity for us to capture peoples’ stories about living with and treating cancer.

“Events like this, where people can share their experiences, are brilliant because they can help to shape the future of patient care.

“While many people now live after cancer treatment, there is often a life-changing impact. That is the new challenge. People need follow-ups and support.

“They need access to the right sort of services to live well after cancer. This event is helping to establish what sort of services need to be provided.”

After last year’s event, a Fylde Coast Cancer Communication and Patient Engagement Group and a Patient Participation Group, were set up to consider themes identified and there will be and update on progress at this year’s event.

To take part, contact Marion Bennie, by calling (01253) 953365 or by email marion.bennie@bfwhospitals.nhs.uk