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Taking cancer services and advice to into the community

Michelle Lloyd, is the Macmillan Person Centred Care Project Manager with Cwm Taf University Health Board. In her blog, Michelle writes about the importance of holding health and wellbeing events out of the clinical setting and in the community.

We often talk about the importance of delivering care closer to home (where appropriate to do so!). I think the same is true about how we engage with our local community – we need to be out there providing advice and support in ways which are easy for our community to access. So where better a place to go than the Tonyrefail Workingmen’s Club in Porth?

On Friday 4 November, the Workingmen’s Club proved to be an ideal venue for us to meet with our cancer patients, their relatives and carers. The aim of the event was to provide health and well-being advice to people living with cancer and ensure that they are receiving the best possible care according to their needs.

During the three hours we spent there, we managed to speak with patients, relatives and carers, providing much needed signposting to information and other support networks. In total, 46 people signed in to the event and for some, it was a great opportunity to find out about things like the National Exercise Referral Scheme or the Macmillan Activity Programme.

The overwhelming feedback from the day was simple. As one patient said, the important thing to them was “to be able to talk to someone and have advice”.

It is important that people feel well supported and are provided with good levels of information. It ensures that patients have what they need to make informed decisions about their care and to help them to become more able to self-manage their conditions.

All in all, it was a really beneficial event which allowed cancer patients to not only talk to health care professionals but to also spend time talking with other patients and their families about their own experiences.

We’ll certainly be doing more of these events in the future!

In the meantime, if you know anyone who wants someone to talk to about cancer, then call Macmillan Cancer Support free on 0808 808 00 00 or visit macmillan.org.uk