Trying to get what one is entitled to out of the NHS, can be an unproductive waste of time.  It’s left up to patients to get on and find what we need. There are many useful and helpul things for us out there, we just need to know.  I have gathered lots of ideas and helpful advice during my ‘cancer journey’, I am sure others have too; we just need to let each other know.  So next April I am organising a Wellness Day to let everyone know.

The basic post-cancer NHS care we put up languishes at the bottom of the European pile, yet no-one at the Dept. Health shows any shame for our poor performance.  All it seems to do is regurgitate and display the same ‘talking heads’, who spout the usual drivel about ‘initiatives’,  Ten-year plans (upped from 5-years, so they aren’t as accountable) and getting creative at stretching waiting times.

Two planned conferences don’t hold out hope for survivors:  Britain Against Cancer (BAC) organised by the All-Party Parliamentary Group against Cancer;  and the King’s Fund  “Meeting Changing Needs of People with Cancer.”   They’ve got  the same old speakers, but not one from abroad. Yet nothing about Proton Beam Therapy; its arrival was trumpeted at BAC in 2008, yet it’s taken 10 years to get up and running in the UK.  One wonders if the NHS would rather still send patients to the USA; it does beg the question “what’s in it – and for whom?”

One confirmed speaker at BAC is Jonathan Ashworth, (Opposition spokesman on Health) who will probably have the most interesting speech (he did last year).  Boy, will he have a massive field from which to draw down ire on the NHS !!!!  King’s Fund obviously isn’t going to rock the boat with any serious speakers who might challenge the current poor state.  I wonder why?  My abiding memory of BAC last year was waiting for my taxi, and suddenly being engulfed by a mass exodus. Apparently the current Minister had just got up to speak.

If we want better care as survivors, it’s no use waiting for conferences to pontificate about ’10-year initiatives’ or ‘plans for 2056 (I kid you not!).  We have to get on with publicising improvements amongst ourselves.  Hence I am deep in planning a Wellness Day on April 12th, 2019 – and I hope this will give us all something that will improve our survivorship.  There are some good things out there, but no-one makes a list, it’s left to us to find out ourselves. So I aim to make this easier – hope I can!

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