‘Living with and beyond cancer’ event

‘Living with and beyond cancer’ event
Two members of the local Cancer Support Team with our Chief Executive, Mairead McAlinden, who gave the opening speech

Published: 26 October 2015

Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust has hosted its second Cancer Services Health and Wellbeing event ‘Living with and beyond Cancer’.

Patients and carers were invited to the event, which was organised in collaboration with Macmillan Cancer Support, held at the Riviera International Centre on Thursday 22 October 2015.

The essence of the day was to support patients and carers living with and beyond a cancer diagnosis, ensuring they are offered a package of advice and support to enable them to move forward and manage the consequences of their diagnosis and treatment.

Key speakers at the event covered topics such as psychological wellbeing and resilience, eating well, physical activity and patient experience, to help patients adapt to their new ‘normal’ and to support a healthy lifestyle. During the afternoon there was an opportunity for patients’ and carers’ questions to be addressed by an expert panel. The day was supported by local organisations that actively help patients living with and beyond cancer.

The opening speech was given by Chief Executive of Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust, Mairead McAlinden, who said: “Everyone at this event was there for the same reason; we have all been touched by cancer and we want to make the experience of living with cancer better for people.

“It was really great to hear about the excellent work and peer support that the many individuals and organisations are undertaking but even more so to hear about their aspirations for the future and about how our new integrated care organisation can help them achieve their hopes and dreams in terms of a better life for people in Torbay and south Devon who are living with and beyond cancer.”

Torbay Hospital’s Cancer Services Lead Nurse, Sam Brenton, said: “We are really pleased with how the day went. We used feedback from the first event and a patient/carer focus group to help plan the day. There is a growing awareness and enthusiasm to further develop ongoing care for patients living with and beyond cancer, and actually this has been extremely evident in the positive support provided by our local services. We are encouraged with the feedback we have initially received from those who attended and look forward to our next event in April 2016.”

Macmillan Learning and Development Manager, Annette Gillett, who helped to develop the event, commented: “More people than ever are surviving a cancer diagnosis, which is great, but we know the impact of cancer doesn’t just stop when treatment finishes.

“Working collaboratively with the Trust means together we’ve been able to reach more people at the end of their treatment, providing information and guidance so they are supported to live well and return to a normal life. Linking in with local services and professionals was key to the success of the day and initial feedback has been really pleasing.”

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