We had a scare last week. I’m not saying who or what but it involved a lump, a lot of worry and thoughts of cancer. Visions and pictures of unending months flashed across our eyes and then, in a flash, they were gone thanks to a speedy consultation and an all clear! PHEW! But, of course, we are well aware of others for whom the PHEW didn’t come. And who needed treatment. So it is with relief and pride that I received the post below from a local politician.
Now I know it’s a risky business publishing politicians’ words. Some with think I’m acting as a political mouthpiece! Some, naively that I’m being used; some that the words can’t be trusted.
And, of course, this blog is apolitical! But I can only speak as I find. And, irrespective of politics, I have found Robin Walker MP a friend of this blog, and a friend and supporter of Worcestershire Acute Trust and particularly of my hospital, The Royal, which is in his constituency.
In fact he was one of those who supported the blog when it was in its infancy and championed it- even becoming my first MP Guest Blogger. So here are some words and stats below from Mr. Walker. They show the amazing cancer care in South Worcestershire; care which I see day in day out at my hospital as well as elsewhere. It’s a good news story. This is a good news blog! Nuff Said!!
Worcester’s MP Robin Walker met Macmillan earlier this week to discuss the new £24 million Worcestershire Oncology Centre at the Worcestershire Royal Hospital and the direction in which the local Clinical Commissioning Group has embraced the Worcestershire Cancer Strategy it inherited from the PCT.
Robin has welcomed public figures that demonstrate South Worcestershire Clinical Commissioning Group is performing better on cancer care compared to the improving English average performance on cancer care.
The Figures are publicly available from the Local Cancer Intelligence Toolkit which can be found via http://lci.cancertoolkit.co.uk/ – 9,600 people in South Worcestershire were living with and beyond cancer up to 20 years after diagnosis. This could rise to an estimated 18,700 by 2030. They show that the rate of diagnosis in the area is similar to the English average with 593 diagnoses of cancer per 100,000 people, but the mortality rate is lower with 264 cancer deaths each year, lower than the English average of 290. More detailed figures also show that the CCG is outperforming on breast cancer, lung cancer and urology.
Patient experience is also outperforming with 89% of people in South Worcestershire rating their cancer care as excellent or very good.
Robin campaigned as Parliamentary Candidate to keep head and neck cancer surgery at the Worcestershire Royal Hospital and as MP has spoken up for both bringing radiotherapy to the hospital and in support of the Worcestershire Breast Unit campaign. He has supported the Government’s cancer drugs fund, which has delivered extra support to 55,000 people a year. He is a member of the APPG for Cancer and of the APPG for hospices and palliative care.
REMARKABLE SURVIVAL RATES:
“It is remarkable how cancer survival rates have been improving in recent years. It is an enormous credit to our NHS and in particular; to the dedicated doctors and nurses who deliver care in our County that these figures have continued to improve and continue to beat an ever improving set of national statistics for England. Although these figures appear as bare numbers; they are in fact a representation of lives saved or made bearable, families supported and people cared for.”
PROUD OF WORCESTERSHIRE’S NHS
“I am incredibly proud of our NHS in Worcestershire and in addition, proud to keep fighting as Worcester’s MP for more investment and funding for it and proud of the amazing people who make it work.”
INSPIRATIONAL STORIES OF SURVIVORS
“I recall meeting with the head and neck cancer team at our hospital a few months ago and some of the patients in their support group whose lives have been saved. Their stories are an inspiration and demonstrate the incredible truth behind these statistics. Of course I appreciate that not everyone survives cancer and I am only too aware from bitter family experience that cancer still kills people before their time. However, it is an enormous credit to our NHS that the mortality rate both nationally and in Worcestershire continues to fall each year. Where people need end of life care we are incredibly lucky to have the amazing residential and outpatient facilities of St Richard’s Hospice and I will keep campaigning to support palliative care and the hospice movement.”
EXCITING FUTURE DEVELOPMENTS
“With the new radiotherapy unit due to open next year at the Worcestershire Royal Hospital and the Breast Unit campaign making headway, there are exciting developments ahead for our local NHS and its visionary cancer strategy.
It is a credit to the South Worcestershire Clinical Commissioning Group that they have maintained their focus on delivering this and kept the strong vision which was set out by their predecessors. It is positive that Macmillan have worked together with Public Health England and I would recommend that constituents look at these figures for themselves to see what a difference it is already making.”
So it seems again, that Worcestershire NHS is in good spirits. And lump or no lump, I for one am grateful!