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New events support patients taking part in research

Haematology and lymphoma patients taking part in research trials are benefiting from a new event supporting patients taking part in research.

Last year over 1 million people took part in trials and studies in the UK, with today’s research helping create tomorrow’s treatments. Patients taking part in research at Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust (MTW) receive day-to-day support from dedicated research teams and clinical staff but many also find it helpful to speak to other patients and develop a support network outside the hospital environment.

The oncology research patient event was the first to take place at MTW and took a coffee morning format with an informal atmosphere, aiming to support patients with advice and reassurance, allowing them to meet other participants and share their experiences.

Maidstone Hospital is one of the top five recruiters in the UK for the Myeloma XIV Fitness trial and has successfully recruited eight patients onto the RADAR trial since July 2023. Each patient is in different stage of their trial, with most now preparing for stem cell transplant. One patient has recently had their transplant and were able to share their experience and journey with other patients.

The event was developed by Haematology and Lymphoma Research Practitioner Tracy Symonds, with the support of Trial Nurses Deborah Willcox and Michelle Janney, and Trials Coordinator Victoria Harris. The team play a key part in the work of the Trust’s Kent Oncology Centre which has now achieved the national 62-day standard for starting treatment for more than four years in a row. This means patients at MTW are receiving some of the fastest access to cancer care in the country.

The team have received very positive feedback from patients who felt the event gave them a much-needed boost and the chance to share experiences with people taking part in the same trials. The team hope to host regular events to provide tailored rehabilitation, talks from Macmillan and other cancer support teams, and to reach more patients from across the region.