Issue date: 31 October 2003

ISSUE DATE: 31/10/03

A new book, Improving Cancer Services through patient involvement is being published at the end of October by Radcliffe Medical Press.

The book is the result of a three year collaboration between Avon, Somerset and Wiltshire Cancer Services (ASWCS), the University of the West of England, the University of Warwick and two national charities. The work was funded with a grant from the Department of Health.

The book’s authors are: Jonathan Tritter (University of Warwick), Norma Daykin (UWE), Simon Evans (UWE) and Michail Sanidas (ASWCS).

The book is designed to provide health professionals and others working with patients a ‘toolkit’ for getting service users more involved - whether it be in decisions about their own treatment or in decisions about the future of service development. It contains practical resources and ideas and it starts with the premise that user-involvement is not a one-off exercise, but part of an ongoing cycle that touches every aspect of service development.

There are practical suggestions about how to identify users, how to develop consensus about the aims and objectives of involvement and how to ensure good communication between diverse groups of professionals and users.

Evaluation of user involvement is a key issue. The toolkit contains evaluation criteria and strategies drawn from extensive consultation with users and their carers as well as health professionals, managers and members of voluntary organisations.

Simon Evans, one of the book’s authors says, “As well as talking to health professionals, we consulted over a hundred cancer service users in Avon, Somerset and Wiltshire about the opportunities they had to become involved in decision making. The book was developed from a toolkit that was based on this research. It is a source book for health service professionals which they will be able to dip in and out of and gain practical ideas for how to bring about greater patient involvement.”

Mike Richards, National Cancer Director in his foreword to the book writes: “The toolkit is extremely readable and will be of great value to those trying to develop user involvement in cancer services. It should also be of value to those working in fields other than cancer.”


Editor’s notes

The toolkit is to be launched on 4 November at the Holiday Inn, Filton-Bristol, from 5.30pm – 8.00pm.

The event is by invitation and if people are interested they need to contact Michail Sanidas, Macmillan Project Officer for User Involvement, ASWCS, King Square House, Bristol BS2 8EE. Tel: 0117 9002321, mobile: 07974 376914 or e-mail

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