East Midlands Sarcoma Service Nov. 2014 Conference Revue
By Paul Robson, January 2015
Our first ever, patient led, conference was held at Hothorpe Hall, near Market Harborough, and proved a great success. We attracted 80 delegates from a wide range of interests.
We had a good mix of patients, supporters, charity workers, surgeons, GP’s and other health workers drawn from radiotherapy, secretarial, physiotherapy, research, nursing, support and more. Leading charities supported us by providing delegates and information display stands coming from the Bone Cancer Research Trust, GIST Support, Macmillan Cancer support, the Royal Voluntary Service and the Teenage Cancer Trust as did Blatchford Prosthetics.
Feedback from delegate evaluation forms was overwhelmingly positive; so much so we plan a repeat, possibly every 2 years. This success was due to the high quality and broad range of the speakers and subjects. These ranged from Mr Roger Wilson CBE, President of Sarcoma UK, who opened the conference, his 2 colleagues from the charity who ran an open mike session on research delegates wanted carried out to Mark Fosbrook from the English Federation of Disability Sports.
Our Service Lead, Mr Robert Ashford, Consultant Orthopaedic and Sarcoma Surgeon gave an emotion charged talk on the importance of research. His colleagues from Nottingham, Mr Simon Parsons, Consultant General and Upper GI Surgeon, Miss Anna Raurell, Consultant Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon, Mr Ivo Hennig, Consultant Medical Oncologist managed to put over their complex and often graphic material in such sensitive and understandable fashion delegates rated their talks most highly. Patient Representative Paul Robson used his talk and delegate introductions to keep the mood light but focused and aware.
The delegates provided great feedback on topics for next time focusing on the emotional and social challenges sarcoma brings and the support in these areas, short and long term.