North Staffs CSUF
Aims/Purpose of Group:
CSUF represents a wide range of people and experiences and aims to improve cancer services for everyone across North Staffordshire’s diverse communities.
Examples of previous achievements:
We are a warm, friendly group who, like the other groups, meet monthly and enjoy coffee and biscuits – but are really getting things done. We sought and received funding from our local Medical Director, Dr Giri Rajaratnam, which has enabled us to invest in some “goodies”, mugs, pens and trolley tokens, all of which are used to encourage the public to talk to us at various events.
Our locality contains a number of deprived areas, in fact, an EEC survey found that North Staffordshire had the worst five year survival in Europe. As fifty percent of cancers are due to lifestyle we were happy to work with the Healthy Communities Collaborative in those deprived areas to enforce the message that we have control over many of the things that affect our risk of cancer.
Our table-top stand and the pull-up banner have made us highly visible at many events, at which we have explained the links between lifestyle and cancer, answered questions on cancer treatment and support agencies and described our own journeys.
We regard it as very important that what we say and do is evidence based so we have also devised a questionnaire with which we are building up evidence of all the good (and some not so good) things that our local NHS is doing. We will use this to support our contributions to the many groups with which we are associated, such as the local LIT, NSSG’s and our work as Peer Review Assessors.
Our plan for 2010 and onwards is to do more and do it better, working with the HCC, Stoke on Trent Physical Wellness Workshops, Now Have Your Say, the Stoke LINK, and visiting the many Support Groups in our area to find out what patients and carers really want.
Current Work programme:
Understanding the experiences of patients and carers in North Staffs and working with the health professionals to maintain the standards and, where possible, to improve them.
We are particularly concerned at the lack of Psychology Services for cancer patients in the area and are working to improve this. We are also investigating the local strategies for Palliative Care and will be working with health professionals to agree actions which will improve services
We meet on the third Wednesday of each month from 6:30 to 8:30 pm at The Quaker Meeting House, Miller Street, Newcastle-under-Lyme. We welcome new members, anyone interested should contact Fiona Daley on 01902 446809.