A really successful engagement event took place in May to listen to and share people’s views and experiences of cancer services in Wolverhampton. The event was funded by Macmillan Cancer Support and took place at the University of Wolverhampton. 25 people attended the event and participants included people in Wolverhampton who are living with cancer and who have previously had experience of cancer.
It was an informal evening that gave participants the opportunity to discuss their experiences and concerns in a safe, friendly environment. Through these discussions, facilitators were able to clarify a number of misconceptions around terminology and answer any questions.
Attendees were asked to be commissioners for the evening and had to work together to decide what Wolverhampton’s priority should be in respect of Cancer services taken from the National Cancer Strategy (Achieving World-Class Cancer Outcomes: Taking the strategy forward). 90 percent of people were in agreement that the priority should be earlier diagnosis of Cancer. This information will be used to feed into local planning for cancer services.
Manny Samra, local Macmillan GP lead for Cancer and End of Life care at Wolverhampton Clinical Group (CCG), said “In a relaxed and safe environment discussions were held openly and honestly about experiences, thoughts and needs of those with a diagnosis of cancer. It was interesting to hear discussions between those with the same cancer sharing their different perspective and understanding how each individual has their own needs. Being able to acknowledge that we have limitations on delivering individual care needs was a fresh approach to sharing how to move forward with development of services. Such open, thoughtful discussion is to be encouraged. The evening finished with a very hopeful feeling that much can be done to improve the experiences of those with cancer and all those living beyond cancer”.
The event was so successful that participants have asked for another session to take place next year.