People living with cancer in North East London attended an event at Whipps Cross Hospital this week to celebrate the 25-year partnership between Barts Health, the Trust which runs Whipps Cross Hospital, and Macmillan to improve the experience of cancer care.
The event was also attended by staff from Whipps Cross Hospital and Macmillan. It was an opportunity to hear first-hand from those being treated in the borough about what’s working well and what would improve their hospital experience.
Over the last 25 years, Macmillan has invested £6.5 million into the partnership with Barts Health to support those living with cancer in North East London, including £1.5 million in 2018. This money has been used to fund specialist roles and provide practical support to local patients and their families.
Three thousand people undergo tests for suspected cancer each month across the five hospitals at Barts NHS Health Trust, with Whipps Cross Hospital diagnosing and treating 800 people with cancer every year.
Whipps Cross Hospital and Macmillan provide treatment for cancer, including surgery and supportive care, and a team of specialist nurses and doctors support people living with cancer.
Patients and their families are able to access confidential advice and support from staff, and they have the opportunity to attend patient support groups, that bring people together to discuss cancer diagnosis, symptoms and share their experiences.
Kofi Agbolegbe, age 76 from Wanstead, is receiving support and treatment for prostate cancer at Whipps Cross Hospital. Kofi said: “After I was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2010 I felt doomed and that my life was falling apart. But the support I received by staff at Whipps Cross and Macmillan was reassuring; I felt like the doom had been wiped away. The Macmillan seminars opened my eyes, and I was given hope and support whilst having my treatment.”
Dr Barry Quinn, Macmillan Director of Nursing for Cancer and Palliative Care at Barts Health NHS Trust, says: “Today is a chance to celebrate our partnership with Macmillan and raise the profile of cancer care at Whipps Cross Hospital. This strong partnership has enabled better education, finance and resources for our staff, and ensures our patients get the support that they need. I’m delighted that we can continue to grow and develop our understanding of cancer and improve our patients’ experience.”