Are you, or a family member or friend, living with cancer?

Healthwatch Dorset is working with Macmillan Cancer Support and the Wessex Cancer Alliance to find out more about people’s experience of cancer support care in West Dorset.

Louise Bate, Healthwatch Dorset Manager, said: “It is so important to hear about people’s current experiences of support around cancer, so that services can be improved to meet the needs of the community.  We are asking people in Dorset to complete our online survey or get in touch with us, to share their experiences of cancer care and tell us about the care they wish they had received.

“With the number of people living with cancer in the UK set to grow to around four million by 2030, there’s an urgent need to help people face the complex physical, financial and emotional impacts of the disease.”

Wessex Voices, an innovative partnership between NHS England and five local Healthwatch organisations in the Wessex area, carried out a literature review in preparation for this project, available on their website: www.wessexvoices.org.

One respondent told them: “The team at the hospice helped us a lot and were wonderful, but at first we didn’t know we could use them.  What I believe would have made the whole process better, would have been to have one person appointed to oversee all her care and treatment.”

The research also found that people want to be given more support options from diagnosis.  Sometimes information was provided too late or not given at all, and patients only found out about other treatment and support options by chance.

Healthwatch Dorset want to encourage as many people as possible to have their say and help improve local cancer support services.

You can take part in the short online survey (closed 23 February).

One in two people in the UK will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lives, analysis suggests.  Chris Scally, Strategic Partnership Manager at Macmillan Cancer Support explains: “When you are going through a diagnosis/treatment for cancer It’s so important to have the right support.  Your comments will be used to inform and support the evaluation of our pilot projects in West Dorset & Southampton, which aim to provide people with support in the community earlier in their cancer journey.”

Please contact Healthwatch Dorset if you’d like to take part in a face-to-face interview about local cancer support services:
Phone 0300 111 0102 or email enquiries@healthwatchdorset.co.uk

Visit www.healthwatchdorset.co.uk for more information.