Strategy continues fight against cancer

back from left  NHS Lanarkshire cancer service manager Margaret Kelly, Macmillan development manager Nici Hill-Lyons, NHS Lanarkshire Macmillan cancer improvement programme manager Lynn Mack 
middle from left  Maggies Lanarkshire centre head Lorrie Forsyth, NHS Lanarkshire nurse consultant for cancer care Mhairi Simpson, Haven Centre manager Janice Williams 
front from left  Health & Social Care North Lanarkshires Kathie Coonagh, NHS Lanarkshire public health consultant Dr Jennifer Darnborough, NHS Lanarkshire director of access Judith Park
back from left  NHS Lanarkshire cancer service manager Margaret Kelly, Macmillan development manager Nici Hill-Lyons, NHS Lanarkshire Macmillan cancer improvement programme manager Lynn Mack middle from left  Maggies Lanarkshire centre head Lorrie Forsyth, NHS Lanarkshire nurse consultant for cancer care Mhairi Simpson, Haven Centre manager Janice Williams front from left  Health & Social Care North Lanarkshires Kathie Coonagh, NHS Lanarkshire public health consultant Dr Jennifer Darnborough, NHS Lanarkshire director of access Judith Park

The fight against cancer in Lanarkshire was highlighted at an event marking the success of a special programme to tackle the disease.

NHS Lanarkshire hosted the meeting to celebrate the work of the Lanarkshire Cancer Strategy.

The strategy is a partnership between the health board and the two Lanarkshire councils, Macmillan Cancer Support, Maggie’s cancer support charity, the Haven cancer support centre and the new health and social care partnerships in North and South Lanarkshire.

An audience from across Lanarkshire gathered at Wishaw General Hospital to hear about ground-breaking work around cancer prevention, referral and diagnosis, treatment, and living with and after cancer.

In video presentations, patients who have experienced cancer gave moving accounts of the support they have received.

Tribute was paid to the work of The Haven in helping people manage lymphoedema – a condition that can develop after cancer treatment. The National Cancer Treatment Helpline, which provides phone advice for people receiving chemotherapy and other treatment, was praised for its ability to help people get the right local support if required, reducing the pressure on busy emergency departments.

The drive to improve the response rate for bowel cancer screening was highlighted in a video message from NHS Lanarkshire bowel screening champion Phyllis Weir.

Phyllis, who had an operation at Wishaw General to remove a tumour in her bowel, said: “The screening programme saved my life and allowed me the chance to see my grandchildren grow up.”

The event also heard from NHS Lanarkshire chief executive Calum Campbell, Bobby Miller, from Health & Social Care North Lanarkshire, and Craig Cunningham, of South Lanarkshire Health and Social Care Partnership.

NHS Lanarkshire director of access Judith Park, the Cancer Strategy chair, told the audience: “The vision for us is to work collectively and collaboratively to take an approach that is patient-centred and focused.

“Listening to patients has allowed us to take stock and our approach has led to many examples of innovative practice.

“NHS Lanarkshire has a good track record in terms of cancer performance.

“The three-year Cancer Strategy has now reached an end but the great work it has inspired will continue and inform what the cancer service will look like in future.”