Katie Hunter, Dorset Cancer Partnership Cancer Services Coordinator at Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group has a wide remit which includes patient and public involvement. Katie came to Help and Care at the invitation of Sue Newell, Wessex Voices Project Lead to meet Jo Lee and Kathleen Gillett the coordinators of Dorset Macmillan Advocacy having already met colleagues at Dorset Advocacy.
Katie explained Dorset Cancer Partnership’s plans for improving cancer services in the county and we went on to discuss how volunteer advocates and advocacy partners might be able to share their views. Katie has already met with the chair of Dorset Macmillan Advocacy’s steering group, Cancer in Older People’s Development Group, and two peer volunteer advocates but will attend a future volunteer team meeting to hear more about why and how people affected by cancer are providing advocacy support and what they get out of it.
Kathleen and Jo suggested that volunteer advocates can often see immediate benefits of the help they are giving whereas taking action to improve cancer services can require a more long term view. Katie will be able to ask the volunteers how they would like to participate in the newly developed local involvement opportunities.