In this blog post Pamela Hill, OPAAL‘s newest National Development Officer, tells us about cascading information to our Primary Care colleagues:
I recently spent two days representing OPAAL at the Macmillan Primary Care conference offering information to primary and secondary care delegates through our exhibition stand. What an excellent networking opportunity the event provided. While I wasn’t able to hear any of the speakers, I chatted with a number of Macmillan health care professionals. They were all extremely positive about the event which was intended to explore how those involved in primary and secondary care can work in a more integrated way to provide the best possible outcomes for those people affected by cancer.
Delegates were very interested in the exhibition stands and many came forward to find out more about the Cancer, Older People and Advocacy programme. It was a good opportunity to convince health care professionals who practice in areas where the project doesn’t already operate that we need them to influence their respective CCG’s by explaining the importance and benefits of advocacy support for older people affected by cancer. Of course, this suggestion was met with the usual response that the CCG’s have no money left in their budgets.
The really good news is that the GP’s from the 14 areas where the service already operates were very positive about their experiences of Cancer, Older People and Advocacy programme. I even managed to persuade one or two GP’s who have experience of the benefits of advocacy support to bring their colleagues along to our stand so they too could learn about more about the Cancer, Older People and Advocacy programme.
During the conference sessions, while the delegates were listening to speakers, I decided to introduce myself to the other exhibitors and they were all keen to explain their work to me. They listened to the information I had to offer about the Cancer, Older People and Advocacy programme and we swapped contact details and information leaflets so that we are better able to signpost and refer. I intend to share the information and leaflets with partners.
Working across boundaries? Yes, I was heartened to feel it really is happening but we must continue to further develop the partnership approach so that we not only offer an holistic approach to services for those older people affected by cancer but wouldn’t it be a real step forward if we could offer the same services in every area of the UK?
Pamela Hill, OPAAL National Development Officer