Conference Catch Up April 2022

Jan Davis, Chair of Trustees welcomed everyone and then the delegates listened to a variety of speakers.

Jan Davis, Chair of Trustees welcomed everyone and then the delegates listened to a variety of speakers.

After being virtual on Zoom since the pandemic, our  HCCN conference returned to the Racecourse on Tues 5th April 2022



Cambridgeshire & Peterborough CCG

The Integrated Care System (ICS) for Cambridgeshire & Peterborough

An ICS is:

  • A partnership to improve healthcare for all
  • Leadership and collaboration
  • Joins health and social care (transparency)
  • To meet peoples needs

CCGs will cease operating with effect from 1 July 2022 to be replaced by the ICS – there are 42 of them across England

This change will take 1-3 years and affect one million people across Cambridgeshire & Peterborough.

ICS aims to put people and communications at the heart of everything the NHS does. A huge number of bodies are coming together to improve services.  Lots of new services will be commissioned to address health inequalities and tackle local issues. Local primary care partnerships will aim to improve health and wellbeing.


Chair, Cancer Patient Partnership Group (CPPG)

A few words on the CPPG

The CPPG was launched at end of 2021 to ensure that the things that matter to patients are introduced. It exists to represent cancer patients views and experiences, from practical issues, such as obtaining more comfy chairs in waiting rooms, to long term strategy.

The last two years have been very difficult as CPPG functions largely by word of mouth and visiting people. They need more people to join the group and are looking for patient views on many things but especially on the question of whether to go digital. Whilst it would be very useful to have text or email reminders of appointments, not everyone has access to, or feels comfortable with the internet. Many people might print out the information at home anyway so paper would still be used.

The CPPG has been endorsed by NWAFTs Cancer Management Board. Sallie Crawley, our trustee and programme manager is HCCN’s representative on it.


Healthwatch, Cambridgeshire & Peterborough

Who are Healthwatch and what do we do

Healthwatch is the statutory champion seeking to understand patientsviews. Their role is to listen by attending community events and feed back to the CCG and Healthwatch England.

They host monthly meetings open to the public to hear about health and social care issues. They have statutory powers to observe and report on issues. They are launching a campaign to help people receive information in the way they need.

JEAN PENMAN, after a full career in the NHS as a nurse specialist now works in private practice as a counsellor/ psychotherapist.

Jean gave us a really useful talk on Sex and Cancer. She, and the other two authors of their recent book aimed to record and share their learning and experience in an accessible way. She stressed the need to communicate and talk about one’s feelings – sex and cancer are seldom talked about in the same breath ! Sexual health is often ignored as an issue in older age groups and this is, of course, when cancer is more likely to occur.

Prime causes of problems include drug treatments causing vaginal dryness or pain, poor body image and loss of confidence  following extensive surgery and physical changes that can make sex difficult or almost impossible.

Jean quoted, anonymously, 3 case studies which illustrated very well the value of talking about problems and not making assumptions about how one’s partner might feel.

So the take home message was definitely- COMMUNICATE!

SIMON SHERRATT from Buckfest told us how much they appreciated the support a member of his team had received from HCCN. He gave us the very exciting news that in future we will be one of their permanent charities and so will always receive a donation from their yearly fundraising.

Buckfest this year will be on 16th July.


One Leisure Active Lifestyles team

Darren told us about the huge benefits that regular exercise brings to everyone, but especially to people undergoing cancer treatment or recovering after treatment. 150mins per week is the recommended minimum, divided into 3-4 sessions of 40mins.

Exercise reduces stress and this reduces the risk of heart disease and cancer. It also improves mood, reduces the risk of falls and the development of dementia.

The classes they run are pre-hab, which aim to maximise people’s health before they undergo chemotherapy or surgery.

Also re-hab which aim to speed recovery by increasing strength, mobility and confidence.

Darren suggested ways to incorporate exercise into one’s daily routine. One Leisure can provide tailored plans taking into account each person’s individual needs for their particular condition.

Huntingdon Ukulele Group (HUG)

Finally the Huntingdon Ukulele Group (HUG) ended the day for us with a great concert of cheerful tunes and the presentation of a cheque for £200 which they had fundraised for HCCN.