The Voice of PLC 1105-6


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PLC May - June 2011 Newsletter

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The Voice of PLC 1105-6

  1. 1. The Plymouth Laryngectomy Club (PLC) A Charitable Support Group for Plymouth Cancer Laryngectomees The Voice of PLC May - June 2011 Address: c/o 80 Warleigh Avenue, PLYMOUTH, PL2 1DH, Devon, UK Mobile: 07745819828 (text only) Email: Website: FOREWORD BY THE CHAIR Written by Ted BURNETT P LC NEWSLETTER Articles. A healthy, lively discussion took place at our recent Club Meeting as to whether PLC should be including articles about Derriford Hospital inHi! To All Friends & Supporters! its Newsletter. The consensus was that we should. As Editor, my personal view is that Derriford Hospital is veryAnother month has passed! Our Club Meeting in May close to the hearts of all members of PLC. And as such, we2011 was, I thought, quite good. It was very pleasing to see should all wish to know all that we can about the building,some new faces and friends who came to our Club to swell the staff, its management, and of course the grassrootsour numbers . medical and nursing aspects. Not only that... but we would wish to know the bad news as well as the good! But that’s just my personal view. What are YOURS? Please do tell!I hope that as many of you as possible will turn up for our thClub Meeting on Monday, 6 June 2011 as we have BertCULLING, a Member and Officer of the National Associationof Laryngectomy Clubs (NALC) travelling down from P LC NEWSLETTER Editor. It’s an accepted rule that the editorship of any Newsltter should be rotated and handed over now and again so as to create a fresh imageSunderland... especially to give our Club a Talk. He would and prevent it from becoming stale. It’s alway good toolike to meet and talk to as many PLC Members and Friends for an Editor to be reminded that the PLC is not all aboutas possible after his Talk and our Monthly Meeting. Our him... as Geoff was so aptly and quite rightly reminded atclub, the PLC, is affiliated to NALC. the Club Meeting in May 2011! If anyone would like to take over the post of Editor do please submit your namesI do hope you enjoyed the Bank Holiday and that the to Ted BURNETT or Geoff READ (Secretary).weather is fine and dandy for you all!See you all next at the next Club Meeting! GREETINGS!Best WishesTed EDITORIAL COMMENT B EST Wishes to the Chair of PLC, Ted BURNETT, for his th birthday on Friday, 10 June 2011. Have a good’un TedI NTERNET Links. If you’re reading this on-line and come across words with blue lettering that are underlined, then and thanks for all the hard work that you’ve put into our Club!you can click on these links and be taken directly to anothersite for more information on that particular topic. Put yourcursor over the link, hold down the Control (Ctrl) Key and M ANY Happy Returns to Mr. Peter STOCK for his th Birthday on Friday, 24 June 2011. Peter is a new Member of PLC. Welcome Peter and Happy Birthday!click! Ed. H APPY Birthday to Martin FISHER for his birthday on th Saturday, 25 June 1011. All the best Martin! The Plymouth Laryngectomy Club (PLC) is an Affiliated Member of: The National Association of Laryngectomy Clubs (NALC) In Association with Macmillan Cancer Support Registered Charity Number: 273635 Our Funder: Macmillan Cancer Support A Member of The Plymouth Third Sector Consortium (PTSC) Patrons & Medical Advisors : Mr. W.M. BRIDGER, FRCS - Consultant ENT Surgeon, Mr. Tass MALIK, BSc FRCS (Gen), FRCS (ORL H&N) - Consultant Otolaryngologist, Head & Neck / Thyroid Surgeon, Derriford Hospital, Plymouth.
  2. 2. LETTERS TO THE EDITOR From: A PLC Member To: Geoffrey READ nd Sent: Monday, 2 May 2011From: Isa xxxxxxxxxx@yahoo.caTo: Geoffrey READ Subject: PLC WEBSITE thSent: Tuesday, 19 April 2011, 0:08 Hello Geoffrey,Subject: THE PLYMOUTH LARYNGECTOMY CLUBNEWSLETTER FOR APRIL - MAY 2011 I’ve just listened with interest to the video of Dr. Itzhak BROOK. This gent who holds a prominent position whereDear Geoff, he has to constantly speak must be an inspiration to manyI would like to say that your candidness and openness people who’re rather afraid, or embarrassed to use theirabout your terrible ordeal has reached across the Atlantic. new sounding voice in public. I’m a bit of a chatterbox andI am a smoker myself and never really thought about talk to anyone who’ll listen! However, I’ve had a hands-free unit in my drawer upstairs for some weeks now andquitting. But I have finally come to the conclusion... it takesme a long time and damn it is hard... to decide to quit! although I promise myself to start practising, I keep puttingNo amount of warnings nor thousands of dollars each year it off because I know it’ll take many hours before I learngoing up in smoke, pun and no pun intended, convinced me how to use properly. Starting from to-day I’ll commence my practise and hopefully, before my next holiday in July, willbefore. Real life accounts did!I am awaiting with eagerness my kit of e-cigarettes ordered be confident in public to use it.from the US (not available in Canada) and with Thank-you for sending video to me.determination... hopefully... Best wishes,Thank you and all my best! A PLC MemberIsaxxxxxxxxxxxxCanada THE PLC MAY 2011 MEETINGP.S. I allow this email to be published in the PLC Newsletter ifit can help or encourage others.Dear Isabelle, O UR May 2011 Meeting took place at the Musatard Tree Cancer Support Cente at Derriford Hospital on th Monday, 9 May 2011. 14 were in attendance!Thank you for your email! We were delighted to welcome a new member Peter STOCKIt does make one think doesnt it! I wish I could turn the and his partner Jean.clocks back, knowing then what I know now! Miles WILLIAMS from Platon Medical was also in a casualHowever, although a lifetime of excessive smoking and attendance as he was on business at the hospital. We lookdrinking almost certainly caused my cancer, it should not be forward to receivng his Talk in August.assumed that this is always the case. Some sufferers have We also welcomed Steve from Liskeard and his cousinnever taken drink nor smoked. Jacqueline from Birmingham who were casual visitorsNonetheless, thanks for your email and Ill most certainly introduced by Julia.include in the next edition of our PLC Newsletter. Eileen FURNEAUX won the Raffle... a box of RosesWell done for quitting… that’s the biggest step done! chocolates, whilst Jean READ won a box of scents. After the formal meeting Carol CHESHIRE gave an amusingBest wishes, Talk on The Funny Side of Nursing. It was a shame that notGeoff more stayed to listen to this!Secretary Members then adjourned to the Jack Rabbit Inn for a drinkThe Plymouth Laryngectomy Club and a bite to eat.From: Christine <>To: Geoffrey READ <> THE PLC TREASURER’S REPORTSent: Monday, 18 April 2011, 18:46Subject: Re: THE PLYMOUTH LARYNGECTOMY CLUBNEWSLETTER FOR APRIL - MAY 2011 M ONTHLY Report. The Treasurer, Jean, reports that PLC has paid its 2011 Annual Subscription to the National Association of Laryngectomee Clubs (NALC) whichGeoff, is the only known expense at present. The accounts can be viewed by anyone at any time by applying to Jean.A very newsworthy publication!Christine M ACMILLAN Cancer Support. Jean announced that PLC had received a monetary grant from the Helping You To Help Others grant programme. The grant had been approved to carry out the following activities:  Payments to Guest Speakers. Postage, stationery, and sundries.  Transportation costs to away functions. Contact The Voice of PLC Newsletter Editor Geoff Read on (01752) 563800 or 0774581928 (text only) or email:, or go to PLC website at 2
  3. 3. THE PLC SECRETARY’S REPORT THE PLC QUESTIONNAIREC ALENDAR of Events. A copy of the Club’s Calendar of Events, including Future Entertainments for the next12months or so, is available on our Club’s website. Please Q UESTIONNAIRE. Maggie and Julia recently conducted a survery of all Derriford Laryngectomees to ascertain what they would like to see the PLC provide for them, why somekeep yourselves up-to-date by taking the occasional peek! won’t joint the club and what other matters. In March 2011 Maggie reported that she was pleasantlyM EMBERS & Friends. Our current Membership Status is shown in the table below: surprised with the returns that had been received. From the replies received it seems that there is no one definite reason for not becoming a member of the PLC. POSTAL EMAIL TOTAL At our May 2011 Meeting Julia added the following infor- Confirmed Members: 6 9 15 mation: Prospective Members: 2 1 3 Confirmed Friends: 7 15 22 Reasons for Laryngectomees not Attending the PLC: TOTALS: 15 25 40  Bit too far to travel.  No longer drive. C ONTACT Details. Of the 15 Members and Friends not on email Geoff (the Secretary) only has telephonenumbers for four! This makes it difficult if we need to get Working. Reasons for Laryngectomees Attending the PLC:  Mutual touch with them urgently for say, the cancellation of a  Counselling support.meeting at short notice. Would those of you not on line  Receive advice from professionals, includingplease complete the enclosed form and return it to Geoff at physicians, manufacturers, consultants and medicaltheir earliest convenience? Thanks! staff. All Members of PLC would like to thank Maggie and Julia for THE PLC FORECAST OF EVENTS their efforts in improving the benefits of the PLC so as to make it more widely acceptable to all Derriford-basedJ h UNE 2011. Monday 6 June 2011: PLC Club Meeting at laryngectomees. Thanks Ladies! the Mustard Tree followed by Lunch at the Jack Rabbit.Prior to the meeting there’ll be a Talk on the NationalAssociation of Laryngectomee Clubs (NALC) given by one of MACMILLAN CANCER SUPPORTthe NALC Vice Presidents, Bert CULLING. Bert has kindlyagreed to stand in for the President who has had to cancelall further engagements during 2011. This will be an ideal T HE PLC has been most fortunate in being awarded a sum of money by the Macmillan Cancer Support’s Helpingtime to ask any questions you have concerning NALC and You Help Others grant programme. This will be anhow it operates. So do please think about it! enormous boost to our Club and help towards ourBert is very keen to meet face-to-face with as many PLC payments to Guest Speakers, postage, stationery and otherMembers as possible. Bert will be travelling all the way sundries, as well as transportations costs. We are so veryfrom Sunderland to be with us so it is hoped that as many grateful to Macmillan Cancer Support. As a way of thanks,members as possible will be in attendance and also, join in our Club will be now be looking into the ways in which wefor lunch after the meeting. can help and support Macmillan! Suggestions would beEileen FURNEAUX will organise the Raffle. welcomed... how’s about a singing contest!J th ULY 2011. Monday, 4 July 2011: PLC Club Meeting at the Mustard Tree followed by Lunch at the Jack Rabbit.After the meeting there’ll be a Talk on Heimomed UK by F UNDRAISING. Over the next month the PLC will discussing the best way for us to help Macmillan Cancer Support, perhaps by doing some fundraising ourselves. ToCompany Representative Ulla ROHRBECK. this end we are making contact with the North Devon, Plymouth & Tamar Valley Fundraising Office of MacmillanS th EPTEMBER 2011. Wednesday, 14 September2011: Cancer Support at Launceston to ascertain how we should The Speak Easy Club in Cornwall has made a provisional best proceed. booking at Devoran for a soup and sandwich lunch, ifthe PLC are able to accept their invitation for a jointmeeting. The Speak Easy Club could arrange to meetanyone coming by train or bus at Truro. Note by the Ed: M ACMILLAN Learn Zone. Did you know that Macmillan offers courses of instruction on all sorts of topics? Some of them include:This information is fresh in and will be discussed at the June2011 Meeting.  Helping Yourself (Self Management)  Supporting OthersF ORECAST. A full calendar of events for the rest of the year can be viewed on our website. Various new eventswere proposed at the May 2011 Meeting such as a Coach Trip,  Getting Involved (User Involvement) If you you’re interested and don’t have access to the interneta trip to the Eden Project and a Liaison Visit to the SpeakEasy then please contact Geoff for assistance.Club in Cornwall. Contact The Voice of PLC Newsletter Editor Geoff Read on (01752) 563800 or 0774581928 (text only) or email:, or go to PLC website at 3
  4. 4. R EGISTERING as a Cancer Voice. Macmillan Cancer Voices is a UK-wide network of people who use their cancerexperience to help Macmillan and other cancer-related How you can help Your club or individual members of the club can contribute toorganisations change the future of cancer care. Becoming a the project by completing the form and submitting one orCancer Voice is a unique way to make life better for everyone more examples of a treatment uncertainty or unansweredaffected by cancer. question. Could you please arrange a discussion of the projectTo make the most of the Cancer Voices Network and resources at one of your meetings or pass the information to individualimmediately, visit where members who you think may be interested? The address toyou can register and receive ongoing information, news and which forms can be returned is included on the form and the thevents. deadline for completion is Friday, 10 June 2011.If you don’t have access to the internet Macmillan can keep The form is available for download, so that it can be completedyou informed by post... just call them on 020 7840 4936 and and sent in by email rather than by post. The Chesterfield Clubthey will provide you with a hard copy registration form. website has a link which can be found byAlternatively, speak to Geoff and he will help you out! clicking on the Priority Setting Partnership item on the home page menu.It does not matter if the ideas that patients andHEAD & NECK CANCER PRIORITY SETTING carers submit are real uncertainties or not, once they are collected they will be checked to find out if they have been PARTNERSHIP thoroughly researched or not.T HE National Association of Laryngectomee Clubs (NALC) has been involved in Head & Neck Cancer researchProjects for many years, through Please consider “treatment” in its widest sense to include anything that contributes to a successful outcome in treating head and neck cancer and improves the quality of life ofhaving Members serve on the National patients.Cancer Research Institute’s Head & NeckCancer Clinical Studies Group. The text Further Guidancebelow was forwarded to us by NALC Please use the Contacts page in "About Us" on this website iffrom what is on The Chesterfield Club’s you need further information or Thank you for your time and any assistance you can give to thisHEAD AND NECK CANCER PRIORITY SETTING project.PARTNERSHIP(ENTUK and Head & Neck 5000 in association with the Editorial Note: This subject will be discussed at the JuneJames Lind Alliance) 2011 Meeting. In the meantime, should anyone have anyTo Laryngectomee Clubs: difficulty in obtaining a copy of the form mentioned in the article then do please contact Geoff who will provide youHEAD AND NECK CANCER RESEARCH PRIORITY SETTING with one. Ed.PARTNERSHIP - INTRODUCTIONI am contacting you to ask for the help of your club and its NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OFmembers in a project that has just been launched. The aim ofthe project is to produce a list of uncertainties or unanswered LARYNGECTOMEE CLUBS (NALC)questions about the treatment of head and neck cancer that A th NNUAL General Meeting: Monday, 16 May 2011.can be resolved by research. The aim is then to produce a Geoff Jean READ represented the PLC at the meetingpriority list and the results will be passed to research held at The Hallam Conference Centre. It was good tocommissioning bodies to be considered for funding. meet the people that we have been dealing with and toWhat is unique about the project is that it is a collaboration actually put faces to the names!between clinicians and patients on equal terms and the viewsof both groups will have equal weight in arriving at decisions A th NNUAL Lunch 2011: Sunday, 4 September 2011. Thisabout the priority list. People may suffer unnecessarily because will be held at the North Lakes Hotel, Penrith in Cumbriauncertainties about the effects of treatments have not been and will cost £15 per head. A response is needed by Friday, 5 thaddressed in research. Patients and doctors may have very August 2011 so if you wish to attend this function do please letdifferent ideas about what important questions need to be Geoff know at your earliest convenience.addressed compared to those raised by the drugmanufacturers or medical technology companies. The aim is to Note by the Ed: This information is fresh in and will bebring our ideas to the fore. discussed at the June 2011 Meeting. Ed. Contact The Voice of PLC Newsletter Editor Geoff Read on (01752) 563800 or 0774581928 (text only) or email:, or go to PLC website at 4
  5. 5. ‘When you’ve got cancer you’ve got to take care of business. NEWS & CURRENT EVENTS They tell you have seven weeks of chemo, radiation, you kind DISCLAIMER of dive in and do it,’ he said.Please note that the views and opinions expressed in this section are ‘I’m the kind of person when they’re sick, I just curl up, I not necessarily those held by the PLC Committee nor its Members. don’t like a lot of fuss and no attention. I just like to get on with it. So I got on with it.B RITISH Stiff Upper Lip for Her Break Down She Just Bottled It All Up: Michael DOUGLAS Blames CatherineZETA-JONES. This article was published in The Mail By ‘I think that part of Catherine’s whole background, she’s Welsh and the Welsh it’s all stiff upper lip, not let your feelings show.’ th Right: Stressed out:Daniel Bates on Wednesday, 27 April 2011. Catherine, pictured last week on Cancer location for her new movie th It was announced on 16 August, 2010, that DOUGLAS Playing The Field in Louisiana, was was suffering from throat cancer and will undergo treated for bipolar II at a clinic st chemotherapy and radiation treatment. On 31 August, earlier this month. 2010 DOUGLAS appeared on Late Show with David DOUGLAS said that the last 18 LETTERMAN. and confirmed that the cancer was at an months had been ‘harrowing’ and advanced stage IV. DOUGLAS attributed the cancer to a he had suffered a string of combination of stress, his previous alcohol abuse, and personal disasters that put years of heavy smoking. pressure on his wife. In November 2010, DOUGLAS was put on a special ‘In my last year and a half my weight gain diet by his doctors due to the excessive th oldest son is in federal prison, my weight loss leaving him weak. On 11 January, 2011, he ex-wife is suing me, and I got said in an interview that the tumour was gone. He cancer. Its kind of hard for the admitted that the illness and aggressive treatment had wife to say, "Im depressed". caused him to lose 32 lb in weight. He will have to have He joked: Youre depressed, huh? monthly screenings because there is a very high chance How about some cancer, you that the cancer could return over the course of the next want to get depressed? two to three years. Although DOUGLAS has described the ‘That played a big part of it, she’s cancer as throat cancer, many doctors believe he was got to be stoic and deal with all actually diagnosed with oropharyngeal cancer. the stuff I’m going through. ‘Probably the time I’m off the hook you finally relax.’Michael DOUGLAS has claimed that Catherine ZETA-JONES Douglas added that he was ‘so proud’ of his wife for seekingbroke down under the stress of his cancer battle because of treatment for her condition.her British stiff upper lip. ‘She’s great now, she’s shooting a movie and she’s relived sheTalking to Oprah WINFREY, the actor said his wife’s Welsh has a much better understanding because this was notbackground meant that she bottled everything up and was something where she was clearly aware of what was going on’.overcome with emotion when he was given the all-clear. Speaking in a slightly raspy voice, DOUGLAS became emotionalWhilst he just ‘got on with it’ ZETA-JONES remained stoic when talking about how cancer had changed his attitude tothroughout and just stored up problems for herself later on. life. Left: Opening up: He said that his priorities were completely different from years Michael Douglas spoke to Oprah in a gone by when he was driven to succeed in his career at the candid interview about his cancer battle expense of spending time with his family. and how his wife Catherine Zeta-Jones Asked he was asked if he was a different man having beaten struggled to cope with it. cancer DOUGLAS choked up... and tears were clearly visible in I just got on with it: But Michael said his eyes. Catherine bottled it all up before being ‘Wow. I think, I know... um... I know that I’m much, much overcome with emotion when he was closer to my friends and family, I have a much deeper given the all clear. appreciation of family and friends,’ he said. ‘I was truly overwhelmed by the support. The Swansea-born actress was admitted For somebody who has no formal religious education the to a US rehabilitation clinic for five days amount of prayers and support I received worldwide truly earlier this month where she was did have an influence and a help.’diagnosed with bipolar II disorder brought on by the strain of DOUGLAS’ next project is to play flamboyant entertainerDOUGLAS’ battle with throat cancer. LIBERACE in a biopic alongside Matt DAMON, who will playDOUGLAS, 66, was given the all-clear in January. his younger lover.But Zeta-Jones, who has two children, son Dylan, 10, and ZETA-JONES is currently filming comedy Playing the Field indaughter Carys, eight, with Michael was still experiencing Louisiana.the effects of depression.DOUGLAS agreed that his health problems had ‘exacerbated’ More at:’ plight. Contact The Voice of PLC Newsletter Editor Geoff Read on (01752) 563800 or 0774581928 (text only) or email:, or go to PLC website at 5
  6. 6. C ANCER breath tests a step closer. This article was st broadcast by the BBC on Thursday, 21 April 2011. C ANCER RESEARCH UK income tops £500m for First Time. th By John PLUMMER, Third Sector Online, Friday, 15 April 2011.Could a breath test detect cancer? A breath test that cansniff-out cancer is a step Cancer Research UK fundraisingcloser to reality, according to tops £500m. Income of UKsa preliminary study. biggest fundraising charityResearchers found an increased by 3.4% in the year toelectronic nose was able to March 2010.identify chemical signals of The annual income of Cancer Research UK, Britains biggestcancer in the breath of patients with lung or head and neck fundraising charity, passed £500m for the first time last year.cancer. It increased by 3.4% from £498m to £515m in the financialA cancer charity said it would take years of research to see year ending March 2010.if the breath test could be used in the clinic. In its annual report and accounts, the charity says growthAbout 80 volunteers took part in the Israeli research, occurred "principally because our fundraising held up strongly"published in the British Journal of Cancer. during the recession.Of these 22 had various head-and-neck cancers, 24 had lung "It was an excellent year for recruiting new donors, increasingcancer and 36 were healthy. the level of donations, encouraging people to give in differentThe prototype breath test Head-and-neck cancer ways and winning back supporters who had stopped giving,"uses a chemical method to Around 9,000 people in the the report markers of cancer UK are diagnosed with head- Income was boosted by a single legacy worth £10m, the largestpresent in the breath. and-neck cancer each year. ever received by the charity, and a £9m VAT rebate. ReservesThe hope is that one day increased by £34m.such a test could be used in Cancers include those of the The charity issued a press release when the report was filed ina GPs surgery to give an eye, mouth, voice box and food pipe. September last year saying it had spent £334m on researchinstant diagnosis. during the year, but it did not mention the sum it hadUrgent need generated.Researchers at the Technion (Israel Institute of Technology) Lynne ROBB, Chief Financial Officer at CRUK, said the impact ofare working on a device called the nano artificial nose. the economic downturn had so far "not been as bad as feared"They looked at head-and-neck cancer, which is often but that this could change if the economy worsened. She saiddiagnosed late, making it more difficult to treat she expected income to be "fairly flat" in the 2010/11successfully. accounts.Lead researcher, Professor Hossam HAICK, said: "Theres an Formed by a merger in 2002, Cancer Research UK’s income hasurgent need to develop new ways to detect head-and-neck grown by £134m over the past four years.cancer because diagnosis of the disease is complicated, "It shows we made the right decision because people gotrequiring specialist examinations. behind us," said Robb."Weve shown that a simple breath test can spot thepatterns of molecules which are found in head-and-neckpatients in a small, early study."We now need to test these results in larger studies to find C OLEBROOK Housing Carers. PLC has been sent a copy of their general leaflet and you can preview the 2-page leaflet at the end of this newsletter. Colebrook will beif this could lead to a potential screening method for the happy to send further information about their service ifdisease." required. They would also be delighted to speak with anyDr. Lesley WALKER, of Cancer Research UK, said it was PLC Friends or Members and tell them more about theirincredibly important to spot the disease as soon as possible service.when it was easier to treat successfully.She added: "These interesting initial results show promise for Please contact:the development of a breath test to detect head-and-neck Sarah TUHILLcancers which are often diagnosed at an advanced stage. Carers Advice & Outreach Worker"But its important to be clear that this is a small study, at a Carers Champions Plymouthvery early stage, so many more years of research with patients 3 Woodland Terrace,will be needed to see if a breath test could be used in the Greenbank,clinic." Plymouth, PL4 8NLClick here to Continue reading the main story. Tel : (01752) 211348 Fax: (01752) 211365 e-mail: Contact The Voice of PLC Newsletter Editor Geoff Read on (01752) 563800 or 0774581928 (text only) or email:, or go to PLC website at 6
  7. 7. D ANNY BAKER Winning Cancer Fight. This article was th published in the Daily Express on Wednesday 12 May2011. 82% of patients reported they did not have to share a sleeping area with a member of the opposite sex when first admitted. Chief Nurse Professor Sarah Watson-Fisher said: "Everything we do is for the benefit of our patients. Their feedback isAFTER eight months of gruelling treatment Danny BAKER has crucial... it tells us what we are doing well and what we need toopened up about his “horrible, horrible” battle to beat a very change.“personal” cancer affecting his mouth and throat. "Its great that so many of them rate their overall care veryThe DJ and comedy writer spoke to the Express after winning highly but there is always room for improvement. We arethe Speech Radio Personality of the Year prize at the Sony now able to access more real-time feedback from patientsRadio Academy Awards at the Grosvenor House Hotel in so each ward knows what their patients are happy with andLondon’s Park Lane. what areas they need to improve on and the ward leaders can take immediate action. This being done every day."Danny Baker under-went six Overall, 79% of Derriford patients rated the quality of care asmonths of radiotherapy. → either excellent or very good, 12% as good, 7% as fair andThe 53-year-old had the 1% as poor.diagnosis in November and 97% of respondents reported the hospital and wards to betook a break from his shows either very clean or fairly clean, compared to 95% theon Radio 5 Live and BBC previous year.London 94.9 as he underwent 52% of patients found the food to be either very good orsix months of radiotherapy. He chose not to reveal the type good, while 31% rated it as fair.of cancer until last night. The survey was sent to a sample of 850 in-patients who had“I’m not sure when the treatment will be finished. I’ve got a been discharged by the Trust in June, July or August I put formula through, I can’t eat at all. I’ve no taste buds, There was a 54% response saliva and chronic pins and needles in my hands as I speak.But I’m feeling all right.“I’ve lost two stone... I won’t be bringing out a book or a DVDthough! It’s been a horrible, horrible time.” D ERRIFORD Hospital Back in Black After £21million of Savings. This article was published in the Plymouth Herald on Monday, 9th May 2011:Danny, who has three children, Bonnie, 27, Sonny, 24 andMancie, 12 with wife Wendy, says the weight loss is no silver DERRIFORD Hospital has clawed back more than £20million tolining: “In a couple of years I hope to be bulging at the seams stay in the black.again, fat as a house. You see me here tonight sipping a glass of Hospital bosses have announcedwater as I have to do 24 hours a day. It’s not fun. they ended the financial year with“Why would I keep the weight off? Fat people are jolly! I don’t a £17,000 surplus, after makingsee losing weight as an advantage at all. I love to eat, I love to around £21million of and the particular cancer I had attacked my mouth and The past year has seen a range ofthroat so it was quite personal. cost-cutting measures across the“To get back to what I used to be, to eat and talk, I’m fine with organisation, and tough negotiations over its NHS income.that. I’ve got a big family and we like to sit around and eat and Managers finalising the hospitals annual plan for the currentthere’s me with my glass of water. Next time you see me I hope year warned there are further difficult decisions ahead, due toI’ll have my own gravitational field.” huge financial pressure across the NHS.We wish you a speedy return to health, Danny! Read more on this.You can read more by clicking on this link. D ERRIFORD HOSPITAL to Axe Hundreds of Jobs and 130 Beds to Cut £31m. This article was published in TheM AJORITY OF PATIENTS rate Derriford Hospital care as excellent or good. This article was published in ndthe Plymouth Herald on Friday, 22 April, 2011. th Herald on Wednesday, 11 May 2010: HUNDREDS of posts will be shed and 130 beds closed as Derriford Hospital tackles its biggest ever savings target.MORE than 90% of Derriford Hospital patients rated the Hospital managers must cut costs by £31million... eight percare as excellent or good in an independent survey. cent of its budget... in order to break even during this financialHealthcare watchdog the Care Quality Commission (CQC) year.published its Annual Inpatient Survey covering 161 hospital It comes as the organisations income has been reduced for thetrusts nationwide. first time in a decade, amid rocketing costs and NHSThe hospital ranked in the best 20% of trusts in five areas restructuring.including confidence in nursing staff, availability of hand The national drive is for hospitals to become smaller as morewash gel for patients and visitors, admission dates not being care is provided in communities and peoples own homes... achanged, and privacy in the emergency department. process already under way in Plymouth.It came in the worst 20% in eight areas including sharing Union chiefs were meeting to discuss the annual plan onsleeping areas, bathroom and showers with patients of the th Wednesday, 11 May and it is now available online.opposite sex. Contact The Voice of PLC Newsletter Editor Geoff Read on (01752) 563800 or 0774581928 (text only) or email:, or go to PLC website at 7
  8. 8. T UBE-FEEDING service nets Vicky top prize. This article th appeared in the Plymouth Herald on Saturday, 7 May2011: Mr. ROBERTS announced his resignation this week. He has been chief executive of Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust for 11 years. Read more on this.A DIETITIAN from Derriford Hospital has been recognised at anational awards ceremony for her pioneering work.Vicky CHUDLEIGH-EMSON, who set up a tube-feeding servicefor patients at home, scooped the Chief Health Professions F ORMER Plymouth Health Chief Will Head Streamlined NHS Trusts. This article was published in the Plymouth th Herald on Saturday, 14 May 2011:Officers Award for Leadership (England) at the AdvancingHealth Care Awards 2011. NEW ROLE: Ann JAMESThe Enteral Feeding Project, which she developed from A FORMER city health chief will lead ascratch, involves delivering liquid food through a tube into the cluster of NHS bodies overseeing majorstomach and is used by critically ill and postoperative patients. reforms across Devon.The dietician said: "I am absolutely delighted and rather ANN JAMES has been appointed Chiefoverwhelmed to have won, I went into shock when they read Executive of Primary Care Trusts NHSmy name out. Plymouth, NHS Devon & Torbay Care Trust"I am so proud of the service and in a merging of top-tier management.the difference it has made to the The streamlining is moving towards slashing managementcare our patients receive. This costs by 43%, as set out by Government.award is fantastic recognition of Englands 151 primary care trusts (PCT), which control localthe focus, commitment and hard health budgets, are set to be abolished and replaced by GP-ledwork of the team in the past five years." bodies by 2013.Vicky, who was asked to develop the service five years ago, Read more on this.added: "We prevent malnutrition and associated complicationsand have helped to reduce the need for routine andemergency hospital admissions."In addition we have reduced the incident of infections and H OSPITAL Leads Way for a New Cancer System. This article appeared in the Plymouth Herald on th Wednesday, 25 May 2011:complications through improved stoma site and tube care."Paul ROBERTS, Chief Executive of Plymouth Hospitals NHS DERRIFORD Hospital is leading a national project whichTrust, added: "This project is a fantastic example of the sort of aims to improve information for cancer patients.transformational change that the NHS needs. It is better for The hospital has been named a "beacon site" for launchingpatients as it means fewer infections, complications and the National Cancer Information Prescriptions System (IPS),avoidable hospital admissions and, as a result, it also saves a web-based tool hosted by NHS Choices aimed atmoney. improving the way in which patients receive information"Vicky is a real self-starter who has worked on this strategy for about their condition and treatment.the last five years." Consultant Haematologist Wayne THOMAS, who is leadingThe awards are supported by NHS Employers, the Allied Health the work at Derriford, said: "This is about personalising careProfessionals (AHP) Federation, the Federation for Healthcare so that patients are given the right information at the rightScience and the union Unite. time that is relevant to them. "Cancer is not a uniform condition; it affects differentNote by the Editor: people in different ways and there are different treatmentsI left the following comment on the Plymouth Herald website: and outcomes. This system allows us to give peopleAs a tube feeder since my laryngectomee operation two years ago Iam most grateful for this fast, efficient and reliable service. This information that is personal to them.seemingly simple service saves me and others from having to take up Click on this link to read the full story.a hospital bed and allows us to live in the comparative luxury of our Vown homes. Thank you to you V icky and to your team! I am so ALID Concerns. The following is the Editorial Commentpleased you have been recognised for your efforts! published in the Plymouth Herald in May 2011:Geoffrey READ, PlymouthCommented on Tuesday, 10th May, 2011 7:28 a.m. YESTERDAY we reported on the cutbacks being implementedGeoff also sent a congratulatory letter on behalf of the Chair at Derriford Hospital, as managers tackle its biggest everand all Members of PLC savings target. Today, the national Patients Association raised "deep concerns"D ERRIFORD Hospital Interim Chief Executive Is Announced. This article appeared in the Plymouth thHerald on Saturday, 7 May 2011: that frontline services will be hit, while Plymouth patient representative Barry LUCAS questioned whether Derriford Hospital will be able to maintain its quality of care. These are valid worries which all involved in achieving these savings mustDERRIFORD Hospital has announced who will temporarily lead keep at the forefront of their thinking, whatever they bring in.the organisation when its top manager leaves this summer.Chief Operating Officer Helen OSHEA will become interimChief Executive when Paul ROBERTS steps down at the end ofJuly. Contact The Voice of PLC Newsletter Editor Geoff Read on (01752) 563800 or 0774581928 (text only) or email:, or go to PLC website at 8
  9. 9. H ave You Used Derriford Hospital in the Past Six Months? Then Tell Plymouth LINk About it! H EALTH Forum Meeting. Following the Engaging With Health Structures event in March 2011, we are holding an initial meeting as part of the development of a forum toAs part of Plymouth LINk’s ongoing work to improve patient promote and engage working with health colleagues.experience at Derriford Hospital and in response to your The meeting will work on practical areas of development tofeedback, we are researching the difficulties encountered by improve the health of Plymouth Communities. The twothose with disability when using the hospital. Maybe you or main areas for discussion for the first meeting are:someone you know has a visual impairment, limited mobility,  Enriching the JSNAlearning difficulty, hearing impairment or language barrier (Joint Strategic Needs Assessment).and has encountered problems at the hospital as a result.  What can I / we do to play our part in the futureTell us what you think of the signage, wheelchair availability, health delivery and planning?disabled toilets, pavement camber and even the parking! thPlease obtain a questionnaire from the address below or The meeting will take place on Tuesday, 7 June from 2contact Geoff in PLC. When you’ve completed it you can p.m. – 4 p.m. at:post to the following freepost address: Engage Plymouth,Freepost RRZE-AGZT-EXRS Carmel Church,LINk Support Team St. Levan Road,Unit 15, HQ Building Milehouse, Plymouth PL2 3BG.237 Union Street,Plymouth PL1 3HQ Parking is available at the venue. For those using public transport, there is a bus stop directly outside the venue.All completed questionnaires will be entered into a prize If you wish to attend the meeting please send confirmationdraw, with the chance to win £50 of ‘Love to Shop’ vouchers. to’t forget to include your name and address if you wish tobe entered into the draw! Please return questionnaires by Many thanks, thFriday, 20 May 2011. Ruth WALLSKaren MORSE Consortium Manager,LINk Support Team Plymouth Third Sector Consortium,Tel: (01752) 202407 Plymouth Guild,Fax: (01752) 202406 Ernest English House,Email: Buckwell Street, Plymouth, PL1 2DAWebsite: Telephone: (01752) 201766 Website: I VYBRIDGE Comings and Goings. Donkey Summer Fair at EST Ivybridge, Saturday, 18 June th from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Demonstrations, Games & Stalls, Inflatables, BBQ, Donkey Carriage rides and much, much more! Fun Family Dog Show from 2 p.m. Free entry and parking. For more information, please call the centre on (01752) 690 200. Car Boot Sales at EST Ivybridge on:  th Sunday, 26 June,  th Sunday, 24 July,  st Sunday, 21 August, and  th Sunday, 25 September. The timings have yet to be confirmed! Contact The Voice of PLC Newsletter Editor Geoff Read on (01752) 563800 or 0774581928 (text only) or email:, or go to PLC website at 9
  10. 10. O VERCOMING Depression After Laryngectomy: An account by a physician as a cancer-of-the-neck patient. This is why individual and group counselling and therapy for both patient and spouse are very important. The patient’s spouse and caregivers often experience emotional strain thatDepression is one of the most difficult issues a patient that had also need to be addressed.been diagnosed with cancer has to face. I am a physician who Hopefully, a patient can find strength within themselves tohad been diagnosed with throat cancer several years ago and fight the depression. In my case after I returned home from theam writing this manuscript to share my extensive surgery I had to remove my cancer which includedpersonal experiences as a cancer also the excision away of my vocal cords, I was overwhelmedsurvivor and a clinician. I am doing so by the daily tasks I had to perform and the new realities I hadhoping that my perspectives will assist to accept. I was mourning the many losses I had experienced,other individuals who had undergone which included my voice, my wellbeing, and the need tosimilar experiences cope better with accept many permanent deficits such as not having a normaltheir situation and hopefully gain insight voice anymore and having to speak using a weak and rustyinto their lives. It is also presented to voice generated by a prosthesis that connects my trachea andhealth care professionals who care for oesophagus. I felt that I had to make an early choice betweenpatients with this condition in the hope succumbing to the creeping depression and let it consume methat by gain insight into the patients’ world they would be able or become proactive and fight back and return to life. I choseto better assist them in their plight. the latter because deep inside I had a very strong desire to getCoping with and overcoming depression is very important better and overcome my handicaps. I also realised that mynot only for the well being of the patient but may actually struggle is not over and will be with me for a long time andfacilitate their recovery and may even increase their chance that I will need to conquer the downhill slope again and again.for longer survival and perhaps even ultimate cure. There is The driving force on many occasions to become proactive andgrowing evidence in many scientific studies that there is resist depression is my wish to set an example for my childrenconnection between mind and body. Even though much of that one should not give in the face of adversity. I knew thatthese connections are not yet understood it is well known they may and unfortunately would also have to face difficult inby experienced practitioners that individuals who are the future and did not want to leave them the legacy that theirmotivated to get better and exhibit a positive attitude father gave up and did not do his best to get back to his feet.recover faster from serious illnesses, live longer and This was and still is a driving force that I resort to whenever Isometimes survive immense odds. feel down.There are so many reasons to become depressed afterlearning about cancer and living with it. It is a devastating Dr. Itzhak BROOK is the author of the book:illness to the patients and their families and medicine has "My Voice... A Physicians Personal Experience With Throat Cancer"not yet found a cure for most types of cancer. By the time had been discovered it is too late for prevention and The book can be read on the author’s Blog:if the cancer had been discovered at an advanced stage the of dissemination and ultimate cure is significantly Itzhak Brook, MD, MScdecreased. Professor of Paediatrics & MedicineMany emotions go through the patient’s mind after learning Georgetown University School of Medicineabout the bad news. “Why me?” and “Can it be true?” After Washington DC, USA E mail: ib6@georgetown.edufirst becoming stunned by the news, feelings of denials, whichare followed by anger, with ultimate acceptance of the new Support by family members and friends is very important.reality. It is believed that depression is a form of anger. Perhaps Feeling that one’s continuous presence in the world and actualanger at the new devastating reality. involvement in their lives is very helpful in re-igniting the will toThe patient has to face their ultimate mortality, sometimes for go on. The involvement and contribution to others lives can bethe first time of their life and have to deal with all the invigorating. As a parent or grandparent one can draw strengthimmediate and long term consequence consequences on them and will to go on by seeing and enjoying the interaction andand their loved ones. Paradoxically feeling depressed after the impact one has on them.learning about the diagnosis allows the patient to accept the What I found out to be helpful was to become re-involved innew reality. By not caring any more it is easier to live with the activities I liked before and find a continuous purpose for myuncertain future. “I don’t care anymore what happens“ feeling life. I started to return to the hospital to participate and teachmakes it easier for a while. However, this coping mechanism in medical rounds and listen to medical lectures. What wascarries a heavy prize because it can actually interfere with most encouraging and rewarding was that my contributionsgetting appropriate medical and surgical care and can actually impacted and improved individual patient care. I felt that I waslead to rapid decline in the quality of life. making a difference again. This made me want to return to theBecoming a laryngectomee after losing the vocal cords adds hospital and teach even more. In the process of helping others,additional stress and difficulties. The inability or difficulty to I was also helping myself.speak creates a sense of isolation. Difficulties in verbalising I was also able to gradually return to many of my otherbuilt-in emotions can create anger and frustration that may routines. I started with simple challenges such as readinglead to depression. Recognising these challenges by the spouse medical literature again, accepting invitation to review articlesand care givers can alleviate much of the stress. submitted to medical journals, learn how to take a shower without aspirating water, and even simply walking more. Contact The Voice of PLC Newsletter Editor Geoff Read on (01752) 563800 or 0774581928 (text only) or email:, or go to PLC website at 10
  11. 11. I gradually became able to ride a bicycle and even climb to the There will also be a general update from the members of thetop of a mountain with my family. Even though I realised that network and the work of groups across the city.the quality of my voice is not the same as before, one of my If you would like to find out more about the network, attendgreatest comebacks was to be able to teach and lecture again the meeting or discuss joining please contact Carole HICKLINGwith the help of a microphone. Each of these small steps made at or telephone (01752)me feel better and stronger. I was discovering the world again, 221933.quite like an infant learning to walk. For general information about the network and details of theSoon after my return home, I started to attend the monthly other sector networks please click on this link.meetings of the local Laryngectomee Club, as well as theirmonthly speech therapy sessions. I cherished the support and Many thanksadvice I received from the other club members and especially PTSC Teamfrom the club president, who was extremely dedicated anddeeply caring and helpful toward the members. I kept comingto the club even when my needs were no longer intense and The Plymouth Laryngectomy Clubbecame its Secretary the following year. (PLC)Seeking the help of a mental health professional can be veryhelpful. I was fortunate to be assisted throughout my illnessand recovery process by an excellent, compassionate andskillful social worker. We discussed various issues relating tomy recovery process, as well as my anxieties and frustrations.Having a caring and competent physician and speech andlanguage pathologist that can provide continuous follow-up.Their involvement can help deal with any emerging medicaland speech problems are veryimportant for the sense of well being.I found ways by which I can use the setback in my life in a positive way. Irealised that I have much to contributeto others. By lecturing and writing The Plymouth Laryngectomy Club (PLC)about my experiences and sharing is a Charitable Support Group. We aims tothem with other laryngectomee andhealth care providers, others can learn offer support and care to the laryngectomeesand benefit from my experience. and their families in Plymouth. We alsoSubmitted by Dr. Itzak BROOK, of Washington D.C. and a encourage understanding and support by theFriend of PLC. public. Laryngectomy is the removal of the larynx andT HE OLDER Persons Voluntary & Community Network (OPVCN) has been refreshed and is open for membership.The network covers a range of issues affecting older persons separation of the airway from the mouth, nose and oesophagus. The Laryngectomee breathsand the organisations and groups working with older people. through the neck, a stoma. It is done in theThe network meets approximately six times a year with invited cases of laryngeal cancer. However, manyspeakers and guests from public and private sector laryngeal cancer cases are now treated only withorganisations. The network is used for information sharing,promoting best practice and updates on the latest changes radiation and chemotherapy or other laseraffecting the sector and services. procedures, and Laryngectomy is performed thThe next meeting is taking place on Thursday, 30 June at: when those treatments fail to conserve thePlymouth Guild, larynx.Ernest English House,Buckwell Street If you are a Laryngectomy you would be mostPlymouth welcome to come along on your own or withfrom 2 p.m. – 4 p.m. your partner.The main topic for discussion is Mental Health Services forOlder People. It will include changes in service provision forolder people and the increasing demand for support in thecommunity. The meeting will also explore concerns over the Come join us!present services on offer and how those in need can accessthem. Representatives from Mental Health Services for older Our Members and Friends meetpeople have been invited to this meeting to discuss the needs, on the first Monday of every month.gaps and present situation of service provision. Contact The Voice of PLC Newsletter Editor Geoff Read on (01752) 563800 or 0774581928 (text only) or email:, or go to PLC website at 11
  12. 12. Contact The Voice of PLC Newsletter Editor Geoff Read on (01752) 563800 or 0774581928 (text only) or email:, or go to PLC website at 12