Calling all patients and carers affected by cancer – help to shape our services

The Cancer Patient Forum at Epsom and St Helier hospitals is looking for new members to be part of ongoing work to help support and improve services for those affected by cancer.

The forum has a key role in helping to shape cancer services at the trust, working closely with staff at both hospitals to ensure that the experiences of patients and others affected by cancer is used to drive forward positive changes. Chairman of the forum Eugene Hagerty explained: “As a group of people who have been affected by cancer ourselves, we know how important it is that we share our views and work with the trust to translate this feedback – and that of others – into action.

“The forum has a strong track record of achievements, including helping to successfully make the case for investment in additional clinical nurse specialists, and becoming an active part of the trust’s Cancer Patient Experience Monitoring Group (which holds the trust to account on the action plan to improve patient experience for people affected by cancer). We also held a successful listening event in the community, feedback from which was used to form a series of recommendations that we are pleased to see being put into action.

epsom-and-st-helier-cancer-patient-forum_orig“We are very proud of what we have achieved so far, and are committed to continuing this success going forward. That’s why we are seeking new members – to help us continue to deliver benefits to patients and the trust.”

The Cancer Patient Forum, which is made up of a small number of volunteers and representatives from the trust, meets every two months, although special meetings may be arranged to discuss any particular issues. Hilary Hollis, Head of Nursing and Macmillan Lead Cancer Nurse, said: “As a cancer services team and as a trust, we are very grateful for the input and support we receive from the Cancer Patient Forum.

“We are absolutely committed to putting the patient first and providing great care to every patient, every day, and recognise the importance of listening to patients and others affected by cancer in achieving this. If you are a cancer patient or the carer for someone who has cancer and are interested in finding out more about the work of the forum (or even putting your name forward to join), I’d like to encourage you to get in touch with us – you will be helping to make a real difference.”

If you are interested in finding out more about the Cancer Patient Forum, or to express interest in joining, please contact Cancer Information and Support Manager Tarlika Patel on 020 8296 4730 or by emailing tarlika.patel@esth.nhs.uk.

The Cancer Patient Forum is not a cancer support group and is not involved in addressing concerns or complaints. For more information about the full range of support available to people affected by cancer, including our cancer information and support centres, please visit www.epsom-sthelier.nhs.uk/cancer-information-and-support-centres.