Tuesday 29th September 2015
Mac Voice, the magazine for Macmillan professionals: Autumn 2015
Lynda Thomas was appointed CEO of Macmillan in March. Six months into the role, she talks about the highlights so far and plans for the future...
In many ways, this has been an incredible year for Macmillan so far. I’m proud of the work we’ve done to keep cancer on the political agenda. In the run-up to the general election we were able to influence all of the main political parties to make cancer care a priority issue in their manifestos. Now we are looking to do the same for the 2016 elections in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
We’re also developing a deeper understanding of the cancer population. After revealing at the start of the year that 2.5 million people are living with cancer in the UK, we are now able to break this down and look in more detail at their experiences and needs. This has included revealing the increasing number of cancer survivors, especially younger people. 80,000 people in the UK living with one of the top four most common cancers were diagnosed before the age of 45. We also now know that 39% of people aged 25–49 who are living with cancer have at least one other health condition.
I am always astounded by the incredible work done by Macmillan professionals and the real difference you make, and I’m committed to ensuring Macmillan teams are working with you to improve systems and ways of working.
You’ll know better than anyone how cancer and the consequences of treatment affect people. You’ll also know that many people often have other long-term chronic conditions and complex needs, and that the complexities of managing multiple conditions are an increasing challenge right across the health and social care sector. We understand that each of you is under an increasing amount of pressure to deliver quality care to even more people.
As a result, Macmillan is looking at skill mix. We want to see if new roles can be developed that can work alongside existing teams to help deliver a better patient experience and ease existing workloads.
One example is the Macmillan one-to-one support worker role (initially piloted in 2012).
We’re also continuing to influence government to make sure that every person with cancer receives an assessment of their emotional, physical, spiritual and social needs, and a personalised Recovery Package of care based on their needs when treatment ends.
We know there’s a real benefit to patients when primary and secondary care are more integrated, so it’s fantastic to see this work in practice. At the upcoming Macmillan Professionals Excellence Awards, some examples of this will be recognised. You can read more about all of the winners in the next issue of Mac Voice.
Finally, with the World’s Biggest Coffee Morning approaching on 25 September, I couldn’t end without mentioning it! It’s the biggest fundraising event of our year – bringing in over £25 million last year – and 2015 marks the 25th anniversary.
It’s always a fantastic day, and I’m continually amazed by how strongly our supporters feel about Macmillan and want to help us. That is often down to interactions with a Macmillan professional, whether it’s receiving care from a nurse, being given benefits advice, or receiving physiotherapy. On top of inspiring people to support Macmillan, so many of you help to fundraise as well. In 2013, we raised over £160,000 from coffee mornings that took place in Macmillan professionals’ workplaces.
Whatever your role, thank you on behalf of Macmillan. I’m looking forward to meeting some of you at the Macmillan Professionals Conference on November 11–12, but please do get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any feedback or suggestions.