21st November 2013, 8:56am
Macmillan partnership to support cancer survivors
Professor Sara Owen and Juliet Bouverie The University of Lincoln and Macmillan Cancer Support have announced a new partnership which will see them working together in an effort to improve care and support offered to cancer survivors in Lincolnshire and elsewhere in the UK.

A Memorandum of Understanding was signed by Professor Sara Owen, Pro Vice Chancellor at the University of Lincoln and Juliet Bouverie, Director of Services at Macmillan, during an event held at the University’s Brayford Campus on Monday 18th November 2013.

The University of Lincoln becomes only the second university in the UK to have such a partnership with Macmillan.

The collaboration will focus on cancer survivorship - an issue which has become a priority for Macmillan. There is a growing recognition that cancer survivors still face many challenges once in remission and that expert knowledge and skills in this area of cancer care are lacking.

Under the agreement, the University of Lincoln’s Centre for Professional Development will develop brand new accredited education and training courses for healthcare professionals. There will also be research collaborations involving both organisations, exploring issues such as the social care needs of cancer survivors and the links between cancer and public health inequalities.

Plans are in place for undergraduate and postgraduate students to have access to placement opportunities within Macmillan services and Macmillan professionals will deliver guest lectures on relevant subjects across the University, such as Pharmacy, Nursing and Social Work. Volunteering opportunities will be made available too as the partnership progresses.

Macmillan will also be nominated as Vice-Chancellor Professor Mary Stuart’s Charity of the Year, as the focal point for fundraising efforts for staff and students from across the University.

Professor Sara Owen said: “The University of Lincoln is recognised for its sector-leading approach to teaching and research in community-based healthcare, and we are looking forward to working closely with Macmillan to make a real, tangible difference to the quality of life of cancer survivors and their families through education, research and fund-raising.”

Professor Mary Stuart said: “Universities have a central role to play in combating cancer, not just in attempting to find new treatments, but also in ensuring our healthcare professionals and volunteers receive the best training available, and that we fully understand the social and public policy implications of this dreadful disease.
“This partnership between the University of Lincoln and Macmillan is a highly significant moment and one which creates many opportunities for our staff and students to make a positive contribution to our communities, locally and nationally.”

Among the guests and speakers at the partnership event was Fiona Goldsby, who wrote a book about her experiences of battling a brain tumour and is now chair of the Lincoln Macmillan Fundraising Group, the Merry Macs.  

Fiona, who lives in Lincoln, said: “You feel alone and lost when you finish cancer treatment. The last dose of the toxic substance known as chemo, and the last scan, is very definitely not the last step in the journey of a cancer patient from their perspective, but it can be from an NHS perspective. It’s vital to have some sort of support available to help you through the down days - the times when you fear cancer will return.”

Kathy Blythe, Macmillan Development Manager in Lincolnshire, said: “I’m very excited about this partnership and I believe it will bring many benefits to people living with cancer. More people are surviving the disease - in Lincolnshire, there are 28,000 people living beyond a cancer diagnosis. There is a real need then for support for people after they have finished their treatment. I believe this partnership will help educate the next generation of healthcare professionals about survivorship, which will have such a positive impact.”
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