This Forum was reformed in early 2009 with the aim of helping to improve cancer services and experience for cancer patients in both, Cannock hospital and Mid Staffs NHS Foundation Trust.
As a forum, we meet every 6 weeks either at Cannock Hospital or at the Post Grad Centre at Stafford Hospital. One of our main aims is to get better Psychology service for cancer patients – currently very limited, but we have been fighting this cause for some time. Recently, we were given some hope of getting better services, however that seems to have diminished due to the NHS cut backs, never-the-less, we are still fighting.
One of our success stories is the Orange Badge pilot scheme for potential patients who are receiving chemo & radiotherapy. This was achieved by involving a town councillor at Stafford along with our very own co-chair (George Adamson) who is a town councillor at Cannock. The pilot scheme has now been in place since 1st March 2011 in Stone, Stafford and Cannock areas. Particularly aimed at those cancer patients with fatigue, the orange badges will allow the patient to park free of charge, at both the hospitals and any car park run by these councils. The badges are under the control of the Macmillan and Chemotherapy Clinical Nurse at Stafford Hospital. The town councillor whom is now also involved, is trying to get this scheme recognised nationwide. Having a hospital background as a physiotherapist enabled her to understand the problem patients face with tiredness.
Some of the forum members assist hospitals with Peer Review or are patient/carer representative on a number of Network Site Specific Group meetings. We are constantly seeking new members to increase our ability to represent all cancer sites and to be a voice for cancer patients/carers by helping to influence and shape local services. We have steadily increased our membership over the last few years but are still actively increasing and welcoming new members.