The NHS body responsible for buying in health services for the people of Telford and Wrekin has announced plans to help improve cancer survival rates.
Telford and Wrekin Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has been working with Macmillan Cancer Support to create a brand new role to oversee the work aimed at bettering the area’s one-year cancer survival rates.
Edith Macalister has now started her post as the new Project Manager for one-year cancer survival at the CCG.
Her role will include the following:
- Work with health services, the local council, charities and businesses to improve early diagnosis and encourage members of the public come forward with any worrying signs and symptoms at the earliest possible moment.
- To work with Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital Trust and cancer support groups to help people to keep as well as possible after their treatment and improve their quality of life.
Edith said: “It’s my job to look at what needs to happen to improve one-year cancer survival rates in Telford and Wrekin. It’ll involve looking at many different factors, including public awareness, access to cancer services and post-treatment support, to name just a few. I want to be able to ask people in Telford and Wrekin: ‘after treatment, what do you need to improve your quality of life?’ - so I’ll be working very closely with patients. I have already met more than 100 people who are affected by cancer, their family members and friends so we know where services are working well and where we still have gaps to develop local services.
She added: “It’s a long and complex piece of work that’s got to be done, but we want to do all we can to enable earlier diagnosis and encouraging people to take up the offer of cancer screening,” she added.
Dr Jo Leahy, at Telford and Wrekin CCG, said: “Across the UK, the number of people developing cancer is increasing and as a CCG we need to do all we can to help improve one-year survival rates, so we are taking action. Edith’s appointment, with the support of Macmillan is a great step towards working with health partners across the area to help people with cancer live longer, better lives.”
Tudor Humphreys, Development Manager at Macmillan Cancer Support, said: “Our chances of surviving cancer should not be affected simply because of where we live. But there’s no magic bullet to improve cancer survival rates. That’s why it’s a really positive step for Telford and Wrekin CCG to be working with Macmillan to improve one-year cancer survival rates. Edith will look across the whole cancer pathway to see what needs to be done locally to support people affected by cancer to live well.”
If you have any concerns that you may have potential symptoms of cancer, seek advice from your GP as soon as possible, or for general information on cancer and after treatment, go to www.macmillan.org.uk and search ‘coping.’
At least 5,000 lives a year could be saved across the country if England’s survival rates matched European averages and this could save around 10,000 if we matched the best in Europe.