The Greater Manchester, Lancashire and South Cumbria Strategic Clinical Network delivered a National Cancer Patient Conference in 2015 from Manchester Central. The idea for the conference came from the Lancashire and South Cumbria Cancer Partnership Group who felt that patient engagement with Cancer Patients had waned since the changes to the Health Service seen in the 2012 Health and Social Care Act reforms. The conference itself was a real success. The Cancer network team in Greater Manchester, Lancashire and South Cumbria see the 2015 conference as a launchpad for a more engaged patient voice.
On 13th March 2015, the Greater Manchester, Lancs & South Cumbria Strategic Clinical Network (GMLSCSCN), hosted a National Cancer Patient Conference in Central Manchester.
Stuart Gibson, Chair of the Lancashire & South Cumbria Cancer Partnership Group, felt it was important to re-instate a mechanism for patients to have their say at a national level. The huge changes that had taken place in the NHS over the last few years had impacted on patient involvement and engagement and the purpose of the conference was to provide a forum to facilitate re-engaging the NHS with patients but also providing patients and carers with additional information and opportunities on how they can become involved across the NHS and wider healthcare organisations.
Professor Sean Duffy, National Clinical Director for Cancer, was Keynote Speaker and Chaired the day, alongside Stuart Gibson. Almost 300 delegates attended the conference, many of whom were patients and carers, with some delegates travelling from as far away as the North East, London, Suffolk and Wales. There was a real buzz and energy to the day and delegates visited a series of workshops of their choice where they could hear about how organisations had engaged with patients, whilst also providing delegates with an opportunity to suggest other ways of engaging with service users.
Delegates also had access to a 16 stall market place which brought together a wide ranging variety of cancer charities, helping organisations and statutory bodies, each of whom provided displays, information, advice and help for delegates.
The conference concluded with an Expert Panel where patients were given the opportunity to put forward questions to ask on the day. We hope that the conference will provide a legacy going forward for patients to continue to have a national voice and be given the opportunity to be involved in shaping cancer services.
A Post Conference Report has been produced which captures details of the day and the evaluations from workshop hosts and delegates.
Presentations from the conference can be found below: