More hospital staff – that’s the main change a breast cancer survivor would like to see in her local area to make cancer care better for people.
Susan Jenkins, 72 from Leamington Spa, is sharing her views to inform how the NHS Long Term Plan is implemented by her local NHS. The ten-year plan sets out the way in which services, including cancer support, need to improve. Local NHS services now need to hear from their communities about the changes they would like to see.
“We have a huge shortage of clinical oncologists in the area and the West Midlands has the lowest level of oncologists per head of the population in England,” Susan says.
“I would like to see the NHS spend more money on recruiting staff. The NHS does a wonderful job but there’s just not enough of them out there.”
Susan has had plenty of first-hand experience with health services in Warwickshire after being diagnosed 12 years ago with breast cancer. She had a lumpectomy followed by radiotherapy and has since been cancer-free.
Her experience led her to volunteer with several support groups and Healthwatch Warwickshire to ensure patients have a voice.
“By talking and listening to people who have been ill, you get fantastic knowledge and feedback about health services, which we will all have to use at some stage in our lives,”
“Patients are the experts, every one of them has a story to share – whether good or bad. I would encourage others to take part in this survey on how the NHS Long Term Plan should be implemented and make sure their voice is heard.”
What does the NHS Long Term Plan say about Cancer?
The NHS Long Term Plan sets out a number of ways the NHS wants to improve people’s health in general, as well as their experiences of NHS support.
In addition, it has listed a number of specific conditions it wants to get better at preventing, diagnosing and treating. Cancer is one of them. Now it’s time for local NHS services to find out what local people think it would take for care in their communities to improve.