Please see our treatments available in February. If you would like to book onto any of the below treatments, therapies or wish to discuss these further, please contact the WICCI office on 01851 706721
Since opening the Western Isles Cancer Care Initiative project in February 2018, we have been listening to the experiences of those with cancer in the Western Isles.
With the continued support of Macmillan Cancer Support, the Pentland Windfarm, and generous donations received in 2018, notably from the @lighthouse2lighthouse challenge last year, we are opening a trial project to provide a centre for those affected by cancer – physically based in Stornoway – but deliverable throughout the Western Isles.
Our new base, on Cromwell Street, will provide two treatment rooms offering a range of complimentary therapies and counselling, and a congregational space to deliver group activities, information and support.
The services offered will be available to anyone who is affected by cancer, who wish to take some control over their wellbeing on the road through cancer treatment. Cancer affects so much more than the body so we hope, in some way, to support cancer patients in the Western Isles through this life-changing chapter.
Our new unit is beside Kopi Java on Cromwell Street and we are hugely indebted to the landlord who has helped us with the fitting out of the unit to help us achieve this vision. His support and flexibility has enabled us to start this project with the aim of building and growing in the years to come.
Whilst the running costs of the project are covered for the next year, fundraising begins in earnest next year to continue the project beyond 2020 and we are already working on discussions with funders to secure support for us to do this.
However, we are facing a shortfall in the initial refurbishment costs of our new premises, which we could cover in our existing budget, but we would much prefer to use this to offer more services for our members.
Therefore, we are asking for the help of individuals and businesses in the Western Isles to raise £5000 which will help cover the following costs:
• Our initial deposit
• Floor coverings
• External Signage
• Internal alterations not covered by the landlord such as sound proofing, lighting and extra electricals in the building.
We have launched a GoFundMe page at https://www.gofundme.com/wicci-cancer-support-centre-setup-… where people can donate what they can towards these costs. Any donations are very gratefully received to help us reach our target of £5000.
If any local businesses or individuals wished to offer a significant donation, we would be happy to formally recognise this support in our new centre.
We are aiming to be in the new building from July, with the new services to be up and running by the beginning of September.
If you are a therapist or counsellor who may be interested in delivering services to our members, and have not already been in touch, please do contact us. We are always looking for specialists to work with us, you will be paid on a self-employed basis, so if you think you could spare some time and expertise, get in touch – email@example.com.
We will also be looking for volunteers, who have been through cancer treatment, who would be willing to come into the centre on a couple of occasions per week to meet with anyone who comes in for a chat, share advice and offer support. If you think you are able to provide this vital service, please get in touch.
7pm at Western Isles Hospital Training rooms
The AGM of WICCI will take place on Wednesday 5th June from 7pm at the Western Isles Hospital.
All members are invited to attend. To become a member of WICCI please complete a membership form (also available from the office).
We are delighted to welcome to the AGM this year, Janice Preston, Head of Macmillan Cancer Support Scotland, who will be updating us on Macmillan’s work in Scotland and how WICCI fits in to the picture.
For more information, please contact us 01851707219 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MSP Alasdair Allan and Western Isles patient groups have welcomed the news that a working group will be convened to review NHS Western Isles’ system for approving funding for patient escorts.
Patients travelling off-island for treatment to mainland hospitals will, in many cases, require an escort to accompany them. Last year, NHS Western Isles announced a new system for approving requests for NHS-funded escorts, with the Health Board making the decision where this had previously been the responsibility of the patient’s GP.
While there were no changes made to the criteria for approving escorts or to the Patient Travel Policy, it appeared to patient groups that the criteria were being much more strictly enforced, leading to increasing numbers of people having their applications for a patient escort refused. Patient advocacy groups, led by the Western Isles Cancer Care Initiative (WICCI), have been pushing for a more patient-centred form of approval for patient escorts.
Following a petition launched by WICCI that gained over 3,000 signatures, and lobbying of the Scottish Government by Isles MSP Alasdair Allan, the Cabinet Secretary for Health Jeane Freeman has ordered NHS Western Isles to convene a working group as a matter of priority to review the process for patient escorts and take steps where required to ensure it is patient-centred and operates in such a way that best supports patients in making applications.
Alasdair Allan MSP commented:
“This is a really important step forward and I am grateful for the Cabinet Secretary’s intervention.
“Far too many islanders have been travelling to the mainland to receive a diagnosis for cancer, or another condition with life changing implications, with no emotional support from a friend of loved one. There has been a lack of dialogue with patient advocacy groups.
“I look forward to seeing what comes out of the working group and I hope we will see a more patient-centred policy going forward.”
Helen Sandison from the Western Isles Cancer Care Initiative commented:
“WICCI very much welcome the intervention by Ms Freeman on the issue of Patient Escort Travel.
“For many months now we have heard first hand of several patients struggling to either obtain escort permission and having to cope financially when a request is refused, or to appeal a decision at a time when they could well do without the stress and upset.
“We are delighted that Ms Freeman has directly requested a focus group be established and a response to be brought back to her by mid-July. We will happily contribute to that group. We already have nominees from the Men’s Cancer Group, Neuro Hebrides and the WI Carers, Users & Supporters Network to take part in discussion too.
“As mentioned in her letter to WIHB, it is essential that the process for funding escorts is patient centred, and we aim to work constructively with the WIHB to make it so. Thank you to the thousands of Western Isles residents who signed our petition and who have contributed to our survey, also to our MSP Dr Alasdair Allan and his staff and MSP Rhoda Grant for raising this issue with the Cabinet Secretary.”
Cost of Cancer in the Western Isles
We are collecting some data on the cost of cancer treatment for those living in the Western Isles. If you are currently receiving treatment, or have recently completed treatment, please take some time to complete this quick survey of 10 questions. We will use this data to further progress our research into improving the cancer journey for Western Isles patients. If you would like to share any further information with us about your experience, please get in touch with us at email@example.com or call us on 01851 707219.
Our annual report covering the first year of WICCI is now available to download.
It is always important to keep moving forward, and here at WICCI we have certainly been busy doing that, but it is also vital to reflect on what has happened, what we’ve achieved and what we’ve learned.
2018 was perhaps the fastest year for many of us involved in WICCI! We saw the start of the project with the appointment of the Development Manager, then the development and opening of the Social Fund, the launch of the project in June, our Cancer Conversation day in September and then winding up December with the Patient Escort Petition….no wonder it flew past!
In all seriousness, it was really helpful to look back at all we have achieved in only one year, it has given us a focus for the years ahead and some time to consider how fortunate we are to have such a great support network around us from our partnership with Macmillan Cancer Support, the Island wide Macmillan fundraisers, our Trustees, partners, cancer support groups to all those who have interacted with WICCI over the year.
We still get frustrated when some folk say they haven’t heard about us, so please #caretoshare, tell folk about WICCI and how we could help those going through a cancer diagnosis.
But we are happy with what we have achieved and look forward to another exciting year ahead! Thank you!
Key statistics for 2018:
80 applications for funding supported
Over £38,000 awarded
Over 3000 petition signatures collected
£8,869 received in donations
703 Facebook page ‘likes’
and so much more! Please read our Annual Report for all the detail.
Friday 14th December 2018 saw the launch of a community petition to the Scottish Parliament Health Minister and Western Isles Health Board over the recent changes to the Patient Escort Policy.
The Western Isles Health Board have recently implemented stricter controls as to who is eligible to have an escort approved when attending hospital appointments on the mainland. This has resulted in a sharp increase in the number of families who are having to pay to have a loved one assist them to an appointment. Often this can be an appointment to be told life-altering news, which will result in several more appointments to the mainland, and may lead to loss of earnings and increased costs for the household. The recent changes implemented by the WI Health Board has resulted in many more refusals for patients’ escort requests and delays to decision making, all of which causes undue stress, anxiety and general upset for patients and their families at a time when travel should be the least of their worries. As a collective group of support organisations we have met with the WI Health Board several times to try and explain the concern raised by many patients and to try and influence WI Health Board representatives that these changes are not demonstrating “the best at what we do” and do not offer any patients and their families compassion and support for circumstances which are beyond their control. At a time when the provision of care services in the Western Isles Hospitals are depleting, many more appointments are being made on the mainland, forcing
You can access the petition online here or find it in many of the shops and businesses across the Western Isles.
For updates on the petition, please see our Facebook Page
We are delighted that Delights have chosen WICCI for their Charity Day on Friday 9th November, when all proceeds from the sale of coffee & cake will come to WICCI. They are also running a raffle for a fabulous hamper for WICCI too. Be sure to pop into the Shop on Friday to support them. Thanks to staff for choosing WICCI, much appreciated.