Older People Living with Cancer

Peer advocates supporting older people affected by cancer

Pressures on health and care services are increasing the risks of poor care according to latest CQC report.

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Kath Parson OPAAL’s Chief Executive wholly supports David Behan, the CQC Chief Executive talking about the latest CQC report published on Friday 23.11.12 outlining the shocking statistics on the shape of health and social care in England.The full report can be accessed here- http://www.cqc.org.uk/sites/default/files/media/documents/20121122_state_of_care_2011-12_main_report_final.pdf

Key findings show:

• one in 10 NHS hospitals failed to treat people with the respect they deserve and failed to involve them in decisions about their care.
• 15 per cent of social care services were not providing care that respected people.
• 23 per cent did not have adequate staffing levels

He says, “Health and care services need to rise to the challenge of responding to the increasingly complex conditions suffered by our ageing population. That means delivering care that is based on the person’s needs, not care that suits the way organisations work. It also means that different services need to work well together in an integrated way that meets the best interests of the people who use these services.

OPAAL’s Advocacy on the Wards project provides a caring, compassionate service for older people affected by cancer. We are showing what some older people are doing to serve their Peers, by volunteering and training to become Cancer Support Advocates. Their primary motivation is to ensure older people affected by cancer are able to be totally involved in decisions about their own treatment and care.

Project organisers have successfully recruited almost 50 highly motivated volunteers, who have all received appropriate training

‘I have had cancer three times and my positive outlook has shown me that you can recover and lead a healthy life,’ said volunteer Bob Smith.

“I like sticking up for others and I am certainly not afraid of talking about personal issues like cancer,” said another.

The first advocacy partners to be supported are already showing their appreciation of the scheme.

“It’s such a long time since I had a proper conversation,” commented one.

“Thank you for being so human- it’s good to think that somebody cares,” said another.

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Author: kathparson

Chief Executive of Older People's Advocacy Alliance (UK)

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