Leaders of a health trust’s Cancer Services are backing World Cancer Day by pledging to continue providing the best possible care and treatment for patients.
Clinical Lead for Cancer Services, Mr Ian Arthur, and Lead Cancer Nurse, Deborah Loftus, from Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, say patients on the Fylde coast can be assured of an excellent service.
Mr Ian Arthur, who has worked as a Gynaecologist for the Trust since 1998, said the organisation has a large infrastructure and a strong commitment to cancer services.
He said awareness events such as World Cancer Day on February 4, were important in terms of keeping the topic to the fore.
The Trust will have its own cancer awareness event on Friday, February 3, from 11am to 3pm on the Mezzanine at Blackpool Victoria Hospital.
Deborah and Mr Arthur are urging members of the public, staff and patients to go along and make a pledge to fight cancer. Members of their teams will be there on the day to answer questions and give advice.
Mr Arthur said: “We set our standards high. Everything is followed through at the executive level. This reflects the fact that we see it as an important service within the Trust.
“In terms of cancer services, we follow a national model. We compare and contrast ourselves with national statistics. We have an annual assessment to make sure we are compliant and flexible when there are any changes.
“However, we’re not sitting on our laurels. There is a lot of work to do.
“Among the population there is a relatively low level of recognition of the signs and symptoms of cancer.
“We realise there is a need for education and awareness of cancer. We have various projects such as the Living With and Beyond Cancer scheme to tackle this work.”
Deborah echoed Mr Arthur’s words: “The Trust has made cancer care one of its key priorities and is fully behind the aim of World Cancer Day.
“Cancer affects one in three people. This means that everyone has known someone who has had cancer, or who has the disease.
“Our event will give people the opportunity to talk about it and we can also offer support and advice.
“Within the Trust we have a highly committed team that is responsible for tracking patients on their journey through the system, and they work closely with their clinical colleagues.
“We want to work with GPs and Trust clinical teams to save more lives by helping more people to recognise the symptoms of cancer earlier.”
Deborah said everyone in the team was highly aware of the impact of cancer and was enthusiastic about tackling it.
She explained: “We look at the quality of our cancer services on an annual basis.
“There is a robust process for the assessment of our cancer services.
“The Trust is currently working with partners, including Fylde and Wyre Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Blackpool CCG on a Cancer Strategy for the Fylde coast.
“We are keen to hear from patients; we want to hear their stories. We have a patient group that is contributing to the Fylde Coast Cancer Strategy and we would like to hear the views of more people on this.”
The Trust has planned several ‘Health and Wellbeing’ events and the next one will take place on February 21 in Blackpool.
For more information on this event contact Kerrie Newsham, Macmillan Cancer Care Co-Ordinator for the Trust, on 01253 957147.