We held an event at Newham this week to celebrate the 25-year partnership between Barts Health and Macmillan Cancer Support which aims to improve the experience of our patients in North East London who are living with cancer.
The event was also attended by the cancer services team from our Clinical Commissioning Group and was a chance for us to hear first-hand from our patients about what’s working well and what would improve their experience.
Over the last 25 years, Macmillan has invested £6.5 million into our partnership, including £1.5 million this year. We’ve used the money to fund specialist roles and provide practical support to our patients living with cancer.
3,000 people undergo tests for suspected cancer each month across the Trust and over 500 of these people undergo tests and investigations at Newham University Hospital. We also provide some treatments for cancer including surgery and chemotherapy and a team of specialist nurses and doctors supporting people living with cancer.
Sarifa Patel, who’s been a cancer patient for eight years, says: “My cancer journey started in 2010, when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I am also a carer of two, disabled and an activist in the disability movement. My cancer experience has not always been smooth or easy but I’m grateful I had both Macmillan and Barts Health by my side. When I first got in touch with Macmillan I was overwhelmed by everything going on in my life. Macmillan was my anchor and gave me a grant to have more holistic therapy.
“When I heard of the holistic needs assessment, I thought that’s how I could have gotten the help I needed. It’s a very helpful conversation that people with cancer can have with their healthcare professional and discuss all the range of their emotional, practical and financial needs. This kind of conversation that Macmillan supports could have been vital for me because it would draw out all the issues in my life.
“Barts was there during my diagnosis and treatment. My radiotherapy nurse Kam listened to me and her manager Helena organised transport for me.”
Dr Barry Quinn, our Macmillan Director of Nursing for Cancer and Palliative Care, says: “It’s estimated that one in two people born after 1960 will be diagnosed with cancer but, thanks to partnerships like these, more people are getting the support they need. Barts Health is delighted to work with Macmillan to ensure that patient-led, compassionate care is at the heart of the service we offer to our people affected by cancer in North East London.”