10 November 2023
The first ever cancer strategy for Jersey has launched. Titled, 'Together; a Cancer Strategy for Jersey', it is the culmination of 18 months' work between the Government of Jersey and Macmillan Cancer Support Jersey.
Its key emphasis is on making cancer care a priority in Jersey and guaranteeing that Islanders have access to comprehensive cancer care services. It brings together statistical evidence, the expertise of healthcare professionals and experiences of patients.
The strategy considers the prevalence of cancer-related diseases in the Island. It highlights ways health providers can aid disease prevention, increase detection through the further development of existing screening programmes and better support patients and their families. At the core of each priority, is a consideration of patients and their care.
The steering group, which formed in March 2022, wanted to ensure the strategy's key focus was on patients and their families. It is chaired by Oncology Consultant Dr Elizabet Gomes dos Santos and is made up of 13 other members including four service users, experts from Health and Community Services, two GPs and the Chief Clinical Officer of Macmillan Cancer Support Jersey. It met monthly to oversee developments.
It focused on creating focus groups, data collection, analysis, and priority setting. It underscores the necessity of collaborative efforts among all stakeholders involved in cancer care.
The project officially launched on Monday 6 November at the Société Jersiaise. The session was opened by the Minister for Health and Social Services, Deputy Karen Wilson.
At the event, the Minister explained that she is working towards a proposition regarding health funding, which will come forward in 2024.
Deputy Wilson said: "This strategy represents a commitment to our Islanders' health and well-being – underpinned by a relentless dedication to improving the prevention, early detection, treatment, and support for cancer patients and their families.
"Cancer is a formidable adversary, affecting the lives of countless individuals on our Island. It knows no boundaries, respects no age, and shows no mercy. It challenges our healthcare system, our families, and our resolve.
"This strategy is the culmination of collaboration and expertise from healthcare professionals, patients and their families, patient advocates, and community stakeholders that include a vast group of charities focused on supporting cancer patients and their families.
"It acknowledges the diverse and evolving needs of our population and recognises the importance of prevention, early detection, and comprehensive care throughout the cancer journey.
"With the necessary political backing, we will turn this strategy into a reality that benefits all our citizens.
"I extend my heartfelt gratitude to all those who have contributed to the development of this strategy. Their dedication, expertise and passion are the driving force behind our collective efforts. I have full confidence that with their support, we will achieve our vision of a healthier, cancer-resilient community."