Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals, local GPs, Macmillan Cancer Support and other charitable and voluntary organisations joined forces today (Tuesday 28th February) to host a Health and Wellbeing Day at Ashford Hospital, with over 120 people attending. The aim of the event was to provide support and advice for patients, their families and carers, whose lives have been affected by cancer.
This is the third such event in recent years and after Sue Dargan, Lead Nurse for Cancer at Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals, opened the event, a range of presentations were given. These included topics such as - coping with a diagnosis and moving forward, eating well, the benefits of being active and exercising safely and the work of the Ashford and St Peter’s Hospital’s ‘Improving Cancer Care Action Group’ (a group of patients, carers, family and friends who work to improve patients’ experiences of cancer services).
There was also an exhibition area, highlighting the work of many different support organisations and groups, including Cancer Research, The Fountain Centre (from St Luke’s Cancer Centre at The Royal Surrey County Hospital) and Walking for Health.
Dr Christine Clayton, GP at Goldsworth Medical Practice and Lead Macmillan Clinician for North West Surrey Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), gave a keynote speech on the ‘Cancer Recovery Package’, which is series of key interventions to greatly improve the outcome of people living with and beyond cancer. Dr Clayton said: “It was great to be here today and part of this special event; I’d like to thank everyone who worked hard to organise and be a part of it – either giving presentations or setting up information stands.”
Dr Clayton adds: “Events like this are really important. Finding out you have cancer can turn your world upside down, but people naturally focus on the diagnosis and immediate treatment plan (surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy etc). What about beyond this? Many people today are living with and beyond cancer and there is a lot of support available to help them live ‘normal’ and fulfilled lives. We really wanted to showcase everything we have available locally and help patients, their families and carers realise they are not alone and help is only a phone call away.”
Pictured above: A group of professionals at the Cancer Health and Wellbeing Day, including Sue Dargan (back row, sixth from left) and Dr Chrissie Clayton (back row, far right).