Cancer patient stories wanted to aid care after treatment

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Have you been through cancer treatment? Or has one of your loved ones, or someone you care for, been through cancer treatment?

If so, could you spare a little time in order to share your cancer experience to help shape cancer services in the future?

NHS Western Isles is currently working on a project known as TCAT – Transforming Care after Treatment – which is all about putting together a new programme that will support cancer survivors in the days, months and years ahead.

Posters (pictured) will be going on display in GP surgeries and other locations to help raise awareness of the programme and hopefully encourage more people to share their cancer stories.

Morven Macleod is the TCAT Project Officer and she wants to hear from anyone who has had a cancer diagnosis or a carer / friend of someone who has.

This can have been recently or years ago. If you come into these categories, and are able to spare a little time to share your experiences, it will help shape how a programme of ‘after care’ will look in the future.

The TCAT project is a national initiative – involving the Scottish Government and NHS Scotland, in partnership with Macmillan Cancer Support and local authorities – and is running in the Western Isles until November 2017 and hopefully beyond.

It is all about improving how care is managed for patients at the end of their active cancer treatment and involves gathering together as many patient stories as possible so that the NHS can see what the priorities should be in any future programme.

Morven said: “The programme can’t be designed until we get the feedback to find out what’s needed in it.

“What are people’s concerns? What do they feel was lacking?

“We can’t develop a programme until you find out what people need. I need to hear from all parts of the Western Isles so we can design a programme that suits local needs.”

Early indications are that support needs to be put in place or strengthened in the following areas: physical activity and health; mental wellbeing; advice from professionals such as dietitians; and some sort of follow-up or aftercare to help survivors decide when they are ready to return to work.

If you would like to be involved, contact Morven at: Morven Macleod, TCAT Project Officer, c/o Health Promotion Block, 11 Laxdale Court, Isle of Lewis, HS2 0GS, or telephone 01851 762030, email: morven.macleod@nhs.net