Listening and learning from patient experience will help us to deliver our ambition of wrapping care, treatment and support around those affected by cancer.

Experience of Care Week 2018 is an international initiative running from 23rd to 27th April to celebrate the work happening across health and social care to constantly improve experiences of care for patients, families, carers and staff.

Click here to read our latest blog from Phil Kelly, Patient Voice on our Cancer Alliance Board, and Chair of the Yorkshire Cancer Patient Forum. Phil talks about the importance of ensuring experience of care is used to inform decision-making at all levels.

Through the Yorkshire Cancer Patient Forum, here's what some of our patients told us about the value of individuals sharing their experience of care.........

"Patient experience is vital in understanding the fears, expectations and the outcomes of treatment patients may receive.Having been through cancer and also being from the BME community, it was important for me share my narrative in order to reach out to this cohort, a group which is often overlooked when it comes to patient care/experience.

"Recently I have self-published my debut book which includes a short narrative around the moment I am given the diagnosis. The purpose of the book is to empower others to also share their experience. Sharing experience both good and bad allows us to learn how services administered to patients can be best improved.The book can be used as a guide as to what to expect if a cancer diagnosis is given."

Sheena Hussain, right, is a poet from Allerton, Bradford, and a thyroid cancer patient.

John Nathan, left, is a member of Panpals Pancreatic Cancer Support Group, Leeds, and a member of the Yorkshire Cancer Patient Forum:

"Listening to and sharing experience of those with a cancer like my own has given me deep insight as to how lucky I am, and I think has allowed others to appreciate some coping strategies for the physical and psychological problems cancer patients and their carers might have during their illness. I am aware that some people have made quite seemingly small changes but with profoundly positive results as a consequence of our support group meetings."

Alison McGrath, right, is a member of MY (Mid Yorks) Breast Cancer Support Group in Wakefield. Alison says:

“It is important to share experiences as it gives others an insight into what they too might have to face and builds their confidence when dealing with similar experiences. They may also find comfort from and value in what you share with them”

Janet Daykin, pictured left, centre, when the Macmillan bus visited Wakefield, is a volunteer with Prostate Cancer UK, and also a member of the Yorkshire Cancer Patient Forum.

“I learned such a lot very quickly when my late husband, Mike, was diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer. After he died it seemed to make sense to use this knowledge to support people in similar situations.”

Beverley Forkes, pictured right, filled out a Breast Cancer Now survey about her experience of care at Pinderfields Hospital. When the charity Breast Cancer Now got in touch and invited her to take part in a workshop to understand more about her experience, she was shocked.

“Someone had listened to me and my views.” Now having got involved she says: “It made me feel strong. It was a good process. I realized I could make things happen.”

Beverley is now involved with many charities and support groups and has joined the Yorkshire Cancer Patient Forum.

If you would like to know more about the Yorkshire Cancer Patient Forum and its work, click here to visit the website, or email jill.long@healthwatchwakefield.co.uk

Click here if you would like to get involved with the work of the West Yorkshire and Harrogate Cancer Alliance, or email tracy.holmes@wakefieldccg.nhs.uk