Time to talk
This year, more than 300,000 people will receive the life changing diagnosis of cancer in England. And the number of people living with cancer is predicted to rise by 3.2% each year. But for too many people, who they are or where they come from will determine what happens next. Socio-economically deprived and low-income groups too often face the prospect of poorer access to the care they need, at the times they need it most.
Macmillan believe that even where people are living longer with cancer, this must also mean living life as fully as possible. The opportunity to live a high-quality life after the shock of a cancer diagnosis must never be determined by unjust and avoidable inequalities.
In Time to Talk, we contest that over the next decade, we need a more compelling and sector-wide approach to inequalities. The publication of an inequalities chapter in the NHS Long Term Plan constitutes an encouraging first step – but we call on Government to provide more specific detail on health inequality strategy, resourcing, incentivisation and cross-Government collaboration.
Finding cancer stories in London using ethnography
We worked on a project to collect stories and respond to challenges from seldom-heard communities. The purpose of this engagement work is to enable greater inclusion of people affected by cancer. We facilitated a hack session at City Hall with health professionals and community groups to explore solutions to themes emerging from the stories. Our 2020 compilation of stories provides information and recommendations to people working in cancer services.
Along with Wilding Health Ltd, we produced ‘Finding cancer stories in London using ethnography’. Ethnography is the study of cultures and groups of people who live in select communities. The project helped us explore ways forward in working with seldom-heard and BAME communities. We identified three key areas where people affected by cancer need support:
- navigating the system
- emotional support
- language barriers.