Conference report

Annual Macmillan and IJPN Conference John Costello, Julie Skilbeck

© 2014 MA Healthcare Ltd


he theme of this year’s Annual Macmillan and IJPN Conference, held in Manchester on 16 July, was ‘informing, influencing, and innovating’, and the day certainly managed all three. The conference was attended by over 70 delegates from a wide range of backgrounds. Some had travelled from far and wide, and the lunchtime discussions and audience participation were all the more interesting for it. The conference began with a session from Dr Wendy Makin, Macmillan Consultant in Palliative Care & Oncology at The Christie NHS Foundation Trust. She presented evidence on survivorship and issues around long-term conditions, acute care, diagnostic situations, and caregivers’ needs. Using coloured cards, she was able to elicit excellent audience engagement. The second session was presented by Adrienne Betteley, End of Life Care Programme Manager at Macmillan Cancer Support. Adrienne provided an interesting and informative account of end-oflife developments for carers and the bereaved. She succinctly outlined over 2800 end-of-life services and described the work of Dying Matters and the National Council for Palliative Care on improving advance care planning and choices that can and should be made by patients’ families and professionals toward the end of life. She addressed issues associated with developing a culture of compassion and empathy in hospitals and called for a review of organisational culture in hospitals to improve end-of-life care. Charlotte Argyle, Carers Support Programme Manager for Macmillan Cancer Support, then provided the audience with much food for thought, not least by highlighting that the cost of caring for people with cancer runs into billions of pounds every year. Charlotte’s practical, focused, very positive contribution included video clips of real-life caregivers. Next, a fascinating talk on the effects that producing an oral history at the end of life has on the wellbeing of the individual and the bereaved was given by Dr Michelle Winslow,

International Journal of Palliative Nursing 2014, Vol 20, No 8

Research Fellow and Macmillan Oral History Lead at the University of Sheffield. The session used authentic case study scenarios to present a range of interesting and colourful accounts from people who had shared their experiences. The after-lunch slot is always difficult, but Anne McGee, Cancer Information Development Nurse and End of Life Care Project Manager, Macmillan Cancer Support, provided an interesting overview of the wide array of information that Macmillan makes available to patients, families, and health- and social-care professionals. Particularly interesting was the booklet ‘Your life and your chances: plan ahead’, which explains how people can plan for their future care. A video illustrating how this can be used by health and social care professionals to initiate conversations with patients was particularly useful. Nicole Woodyatt, Specialist Care at Home Project Manager for Macmillan Cancer Support, presented an engaging session on developing strong partnerships to deliver effective palliative care at home that created much discussion in the coffee break that followed. Nicole introduced the audience to the Macmillan Specialist Care at Home Model, which Macmillan is currently trialling with partners across England. Representatives from five of the partnerships were present and it was really exciting to hear how each service was developing in these pilot sites. Thomas Cottam, Senior Policy Analyst at Macmillan Cancer Support, then led an influencing workshop on making choice a reality at the end of life. Macmillan is contributing to a Government review on this subject, and Thomas took the opportunity to seek delegates’ views. We were allocated working groups and directed to various break-out rooms. This was a welcome opportunity to engage in debate with fellow attendees, and many creative ideas resulted. Professor Bridget Johnston rounded off the informative, influential, and innovative day with a skilful summary. IJPN looks forward to working with Macmillan on future events. I● JPN

John Costello, Senior Lecturer, University of Manchester, England; Julie Skilbeck, Senior Lecturer, Sheffield Hallam University, England Correspondence to: ijpn@


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Annual Macmillan and IJPN Conference.

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