In this post Kath Curley from programme partner Beth Johnson Foundation introduces us to new work going on in her local area:
I am pleased to be able to write about a new Macmillan funded project that is taking place in Staffordshire.
The Project is led by a familiar face to the Staffs and Wolves Cancer Advocacy and Support Project – Jo Coulson – and Angie Bunn has taken up the role of Engagement Officer.
Cancer support services are perceived to be patchy or even inaccessible when the person affected by cancer is also Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual and Transgender (LGBT). There is a lack of solid evidence in relation to this area of need and an absence of information regarding effective approaches to service provision. With a view to improving this situation this project seeks to redress this by speaking directly to people from these groups and undertaking an in-depth assessment of current service “fit”. Recommendations will be made for service redesign based on the experiences recorded across Staffordshire, including Stoke on Trent. It is expected that the recommendations made will influence services nationally and may form the basis of a much broader review of services.
Scoping aims are to find out:
- What are LGBT people’s experiences of cancer treatment and support locally?
- What factors facilitate/inhibit open discussions between clinicians and LGBT patients?
- How well educated are local health professionals about LGBT issues (both clinical and personal – do doctors make assumptions)?
- What are awareness levels within LGBT communities about specific cancer risks, screening programmes, etc?
- Is there a need for specialised LGBT code of practice, cancer information and literature, etc?
- Can true ‘patient centred care’ disregard sexuality or gender variance?
It will use the following strategies:
- Face-to-face meetings & capturing stories
- Surveys and questionnaires
- Focus groups, workshops, roadshows
- Internet and social media
- Workplace engagement with clinical staff
- Information gathering and capturing experiences, identifying trends and gaps
- User involvement in project development
We wish Jo and Angie all the best with this Project and look forward to the outcomes. I will try to keep you all up-to-date as the Project progresses.
Kath Curley, Staffs & Wolves Cancer Advocacy Project Manager