Wake Up NHS England
Just received the Cancer Stakeholders’ Bulletin from NHS England, typically glossing over recent problems faced by those with cancer.
As one of those involved with the start-up of the London Cancer Alliance, it should be no surprise that the Bulletin hasn’t got anything much to say. A lot of people were invited to London’s City Hall to drink wine (at 4pm!),to launch the alliance at a glitzy event, billed as So Important that the Mayor sent a video opening speech instead of attending (this was long before lockdown)
The Bulletin is long on self-congratulating, but confusing. It introduces a Quality of Life Survey for survivors, but if you click through you can’t take part unless you have been sent an invitation. They obviously don’t want views of survivors currently struggling to make sense of accessing treatment during lockdown.
Mention is made of Capsule Colon Endoscopies, where instead of the awful ‘gagging’ tube thrust down your throat, you swallow a small disposable camera. Having had one myself ten years ago, they are a massive improvement, but I do wonder why it has taken a decade to introduce these on the NHS?
All-in-all, this Bulletin gives no hope that anything is being done to improve cancer services for the thousands of survivors struggling to get access for treatment of long-term side effects, or for those who have ended up with problems caused by treatment – from lymphoedema to osteoporis. It’s still the same-old, same-old-and-carry- on-as- usual. No mention about co-operation with other branches of the NHS, and no-one in the Alliance seems to have twigged that those cancer survivors with long-term side effects might benefit from research into long-covid.
Currently, the Government is throwing money at treating patients with covid-19; the media is full of stories about Long-Covid and the problems it is causing a large percentage of survivors. Yet no-one in the cancer community seems to have cottoned on to the fact that many of the problems are those experienced by cancer survivors – so perhaps it would be an idea to co-operate?
So WAKE-UP CRUK, Macmillan and all the other cancer charities – jump on the covid bandwagon and take advantage of all the research that is going on into the same problems cancer survivors face, from fatigue to joint pain, and all the other side effects. We could all do with some help.