Cancer conference seeks to improve survival rates in Telford and Wrekin

Over a hundred Telford and Wrekin GPs and nurses have come together at a conference to improve their ability to diagnose cancer early.

The conference – which has brought together 80 GPs and 50 practice nurses and took place last week – aimed to help improve cancer survival rates in the area by helping doctors and nurses recognise the signs of cancer and refer people for tests as early as possible. That’s because the sooner cancer is caught and treated, the longer and better you’re likely to live afterwards.

Dr David Northern, Macmillan GP Facilitator in Telford and Wrekin, said: “As a nation, the UK has poorer survival rates compared with Western Europe, but here in Telford and Wrekin we’re working towards world-class cancer outcomes along with the rest of the NHS. We’re already doing a good job detecting cancer, but this event will support us to do even better by diagnosing it earlier.

Dr Jo Leahy, Clinical Chair at Telford and Wrekin CCG, said: ‘Research shows that by 2020 almost half of us will get cancer in our lifetime, so it’s fantastic that our GPs and practice nurses have come together to look at cancer recognition and survival rates. It really demonstrates our commitment to catching cancer earlier and improving people’s quality of life when they’ve been diagnosed. And it also demonstrates that our GPs and our Consultant colleagues at Shrewsbury and Telford Hospitals, led by Dr Sheena Khandurri, Clinical Lead for Cancer Services, are working really closely together to achieve this.”

Macmillan Cancer Support has just extended Dr Northern’s funding so that he can continue his work with primary care and secondary care colleagues and patients, to help develop and improve services for cancer patients.

Tudor Humphreys, Macmillan Partnership Manager, said: “It’s fantastic that Dr Northern can remain part of the Macmillan team in Telford and Wrekin. He’ll continue to be an excellent source of expertise, training and support. We want people affected by cancer in our area to have access to the best quality care and support no matter what stage they are at in their cancer journey.”

Edith Macalister, Macmillan Project Manager for one-year cancer survival rates, who helped organise the cancer conference, said: ‘It’s also important that people in Telford and Wrekin are reminded, supported and encouraged to come forward with any worrying symptoms as that’s crucial to getting the best possible chance of survival.’

If you’re facing cancer it can be a lonely and upsetting time. It’s important to know support is there for you. If you have questions about cancer, or to find out more how you can support Macmillan, visit www.macmillan.org.uk or call 0808 808 00 00.