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Addenbrooke’s Cancer Patient Partnership Group

The Addenbrooke's Cancer Patient Partnership Group (CPPG) is a group of patients and carers who work with hospital staff to improve cancer services by sharing the patients’ views and raising concerns on their behalf.

CPPG and co-production within Addenbrooke’s Cancer Services


Video transcript: CPPG and co-production within Addenbrooke's Cancer Services

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Staff need to get that

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we see things they don't see

and that we know, things they don't know.

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We want to be asked how much we want

to be involved in decisions about our care.

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I want to be treated as the person

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I am more than a bunch of malignant cells.

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Co-production involves

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people from very beginning

so that they can identify the right question

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that need to be asked, then

commenting on something that is already decided.

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Co-production also sharing power between

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those who use as the service

and who those who delivers the service.

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Therefore, skills and resources

used appropriately.

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Co-production is a way of patients and clinicians

working together to improve care

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by acknowledging and using the experience

of patients to help inform service provision.

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It's a way of validating the lived experience,

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using the skills and valuing the assets of people

who have experienced cancer firsthand.

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It's about making sure that the patients, carers,

their families have a say

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and feel acknowledged and empowered during

and after any cancer treatment.

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It gives them the opportunity to be more

equally involved in decisions that affect them.

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Nothing about us without us.

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I was part of a big MDT

where we were trying to improve the outcomes

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and reduce length of stay,

but also improve the patient experience.

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So we were part of a big project

and in order to do this

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right at the very beginning,

we held some patient focus group meetings.

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So with all this information that we had collated,

we actually incorporated

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a lot of it into some of our proposals

in the business plan.

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These included things like a rehabilitation clinic

where patients were able to come and speak

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to a dietician, a physio

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and a specialist nurse to help

prepare them better for their operation,

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Talk to them about what

to expect during the inpatient stay,

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as well as what to expect

in the early few weeks after they're discharged.

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The thing about being a carer

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is that you're not the patient, you're

just an afterthought if you're a thought at all.

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But a cancer diagnosis for someone you care

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for deeply affects you

and that should be taken into account.

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I want to be told the options and understand

what's going on.

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I don't want to just be told

what's going to be done to me

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without understanding why

and what other options are available.

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Co-production is also patients and clinicians

working openly together to improve cancer care.

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Improvements are made to identifying needs

and helping to find solutions to those needs

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through participation in projects

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and strategies, patients

contribute to positive change at many levels.

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Co-production is an equal partnership

between patients and clinicians from addressing

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an issue to project design to delivery.

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All voices are valued.

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The outputs Cancer

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Patient Partnership Group has allowed me

to be involved in a number of valuable projects

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using my experience to help inform and improve

cancer care in the hospital and wider community.

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It has been precious time well spent.

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Co-production is about involving patients

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in the design of services and facilities,

not just sometimes, but all of the time.

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What we've found is that co-production isn't easy,

but when it works, it brings real benefits

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to both patients and staff.

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For example, we involve patients in the design

of our new oncology outpatient facility,

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and the result of that is that design

much more closely meets the needs of both groups.

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So co-production gives us confidence

that our service offer is based

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on what our patients actually want

and is co-designed and delivered with.

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A really good example of that is it.

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Our patients asked us to write

our outpatient letters to them and copy the GP

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rather than the other way round?

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And the result of that

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is that the letters are much clearer

and much more useful for the patients

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as a summary of what

they've been through in clinic.

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And in fact the piece have also found them

much more useful as well.

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Here at SIU we have a very active cancer

patient partnership group

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member Cicero Cancer Board,

and they challenge and support

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members of the board to deliver

and improve our services for cancer patients.

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What we found is that co-production isn't easy

and in fact if it is easy, it

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probably isn't working very well.

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But when it works, it's brilliant

for all involved.

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We are just like you staff

the patients, patients and staff.

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We want you to take a genuine interest

in understanding,

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talk with us, listen to what we have to say

and tell us about yourselves to.

Who are we?

  • We are a group of cancer patients, carers and healthcare professionals.
  • We are varied in age and background, and bring a wide range of skills and experiences to the group.
  • We use our experience to help improve cancer services for everyone.

What do we do?

We work together as patients, carers and healthcare professionals to:

  • Improve patient and carer experiences along the whole cancer pathway - through diagnosis, treatment and after – for cancer patients at Addenbrooke’s.
  • Plan new services.
  • Ensure that the patient, carer, family and staff perspectives are heard.
  • Consult with and listen to people whose lives have been affected by cancer to help make positive changes in services.
  • Represent the patient in hospital committee and planning meetings, including the Addenbrooke’s Hospital Cancer Board.
  • Bring the experiences of people affected by cancer to the attention of those who fund, commission, plan and manage services in the area.
  • Ensure that patient information is easy to understand.
  • Participate in many different projects, big and small, that benefit from patients’ views.

Our success stories

  • Campaigning for clinic letters to be written from clinicians directly to patients, with copies to GPs.
  • Contributing to the redesign of the Oncology Outpatients Department.
  • Writing communication guidelines and tip sheets for patients and clinicians during the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • Contributing to the development of a new finger prick test for patients to detect the possibility of neutropenic sepsis.
  • Gathering and promoting information on patient buddy schemes as a way of supporting patients.
  • Designing and updating the contents of information packs for new cancer patients.

Interested in joining?

  • Get involved in improving cancer services.
  • You can be any age from 16+.
  • You can be a patient, carer or family member.
  • You don’t need any special skills.

During my cancer treatment I was aware of the huge debt I owed to the medical team. I really felt I needed to give something back and decided to join CPPG so that I could work with clinicians and other patients to improve cancer services

Helene - Patient member
CPPG Chair, Helene (right), shaking hands with Lead Cancer Nurse, Hannah (left), under a sign that reads 'Oncology and Haematology Centre'
Patient member, Helene (right), and Lead Cancer Nurse, Hannah (left).

How you can join in

Contact us

We are actively looking for more members from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic and LGBT+ communities, plus younger members (<50 years). Your voice matters and we want to make sure it's heard.