The following is a brief update on the MKCPP’s status and activities as prepared for an update presentation to the MKUH Board early in 2019…
Making sure that we have first-class cancer services in the Milton Keynes area is a vitally important activity, as you know. And this is what the Milton Keynes Cancer Patient Partnership (MKCPP) was founded to help achieve: to be a charity that combines “the patients’ voice” in a partnership with health professionals and other cancer-related groups and charities, working together so all MK cancer patients and their carers can have the best possible experience through the cancer journey.
With our core membership of local volunteer cancer patients and carers – users of cancer services – leading our strong and very active group, we’re pioneering the way forward for realistic maintenance of and improvements to cancer services based on the realities of today … while progressing, with our NHS partners, other charities, support groups and other associates, towards even better cancer care in the future.
Background and Structure
The group was started on 2002 by cancer survivor Jaff Newton, along with a number of other cancer survivors, many of whom are still core members of the MKCPP today. Currently our meetings are attended by:
- Core member cancer patients and their carers (approx. 30 at this date)
- Hospital health care professionals (HCPs) including Head of Cancer Service, Lead Cancer Nurse etc.
- Key hospital admin staff including Cancer Manager and, when available, our Chief Executive
- Providers of ancillary services
- GPs, practice managers and nurses
- Local voluntary/support groups
- Macmillan plus other national and local cancer charities
This ensures that all concerned are “on the same page” in Milton Keynes and can react quickly to patient feedback and signpost patients and carers promptly and correctly.
Apart from the obvious friendship and cordiality amongst us all as colleagues, the primary reason for the success of our meetings is due to excellent face-to-face communication amongst all parties – and recently we have started including primary care professionals as well. It is networking at its best and most fruitful, community-wide.
Task-based working groups
Working Groups, formed as needs arise for specific projects, are relatively autonomous and can take decisions then report back to the plenary group. Nearly all WGs consist of at least one hospital health professional as well as MKCPP core members and others.
Examples of these include:
- Look Good, Feel Better: a national charity who kindly decided to set up their workshops in MK. Offers women having cancer treatment two hour informal workshops, off site, where qualified beauticians advise them on skincare and makeup to overcome the damage most treatments cause. Participation is free and includes a “goodie bag” of skincare and cosmetic products, donated by premier cosmetic companies to the value of about £300. This is an example of charities working together: i.e. Look Good, Feel Better; Bosom Pals MK (local breast and gynae cancer support group who provide refreshments); the MKCPP; and of course the MKUH Macmillan Unit staff.
- Environment Audits: a long-standing, ongoing project that reviews cancer-related outpatients environments and reports back on issues were improvement could be helpful especially in view of patients’ increased anxiety levels at times. Covers procedures, waiting times, waiting room amenities, restroom condition, signposting from exterior, etc. Core patient members complete a detailed report which is logged and recommendations actioned, after which a follow-up programme is designed by the MKCPP and hospital professionals concerned.
- Cancer & Beyond: the upshot of an initiative we developed back in 2013, Sharing The Caring For Cancer In Milton Keynes, which was a campaign to draw together primary and secondary care in MK to maximise patients’ access to treatment-concurrent and post-treatment activities. In 2016 we spearheaded workshops held at GP practices in MK where patients at all stages or beyond their cancer, and their families, could come together for a friendly workshop with a couple of speakers on health issues, plus the chance to network informally amongst themselves and with HCPs both from the hospital and from the practice concerned. These are now running in a number of practices in MK and are extremely popular, often with standing room only.
- Publications: The MKCPP Patient Diary has been a useful experiment but has not been supported as well as we had hoped. Our MKCPP Cancer Resources Directory, on the other hand, is now nearing the end of its third print run and is a very popular handout not only at MKUH but also at GP practices, pharmacies, private clinics, and more. As the MKCPP does not fund raise we look to our kind benefactors to pay for each print run – Macmillan have contributed, as have MKUH Cancer Services. Many thanks to them.
Ad hoc activities (a small selection)
- Patient representation for Peer Review, Internal Validation, Annual Reviews (AGMs), Cancer Board, TSS meetings, etc.
- Liaison with the CCG, Willen Hospice, Healthwatch, etc.
- Commenting on draft cancer patient literature produced by MKUH
- Care for the courtyards accessed from the existing Macmillan Unit and involving other voluntary groups from the community in “gardening,” to be continued for the new MKUH Cancer Centre.
- Maintenance of website and social media accounts
For a more information about our activities, please check out the categories here on this website, or email us on email@example.com .