Monday 21st December 2015
Mac Voice, the magazine for Macmillan professionals: Spring 2015
We need to make sure people with particular needs don’t lack information about cancer, Abigail Howse writes.
It’s fair to say there’s no shortage of information about cancer available to people today. There are millions of web pages and countless leaflets and booklets. No shortage at all – unless you happen to speak another language or have a disability.
It is often the most vulnerable patients – those from minority ethnic groups, or those with hearing loss, sight loss or learning disabilities – who suffer the biggest lack of available information.
They don’t necessarily get access to all the background noise about cancer that comes from the TV or media. And while organisations continue to produce more and more printed or online information in written English, the range of information in other languages and formats is increasingly overshadowed.
On our website, we have six new videos exploring the experiences of people with cancer who are deaf, blind or have a learning disability. Watch them to hear what it’s like to face cancer with an additional disability.
So what can we do?
There are lots of options available to suit different patients’ needs, whether that’s ordering the audio version of a booklet, or providing a translation in Polish.
Sarah, a Macmillan Colorectal CNS, says, ‘I recently met a lady who was visually impaired and had colon cancer. I contacted Macmillan and they quickly posted us their colon cancer booklet in large print. It was invaluable to the patient. It helped her understand her diagnosis and she could use it for reference during her cancer experience.’
When you provide patients with information in a format that really works for them, it will not only be gratefully received, it will be more effective and have more impact. Macmillan is here to help you provide this. In England, the NHS has published the Accessible Information Standard to ensure that disabled patients receive information they can understand. To find out more visit england.nhs.uk/accessibleinfo
The table below outlines the range of resources that Macmillan offers.
Email Abigail Howse, Quality and Improvement Officer at Macmillan Cancer Support.
Continue reading In Focus: Creating patient information for everyone
Equal access to health information - We need to make sure people with particular needs don’t lack information about cancer, Abigail Howse writes.
Facing cancer as a deaf person - Abigail Howse, Macmillan Quality and Improvement Officer, recently visited the charity DEAFvibe in Staffordshire to find out what it’s like to go through cancer if you are deaf.
Supporting patients whose first language is not English - Urology nurse Kathleen MacKenzie on her experiences of using translation services.
Using video to reach more people - Videos are a great way to reach a range of audiences with information, writes Abi Delderfield, Macmillan Quality and Improvement Lead.