Your view counts

One of the things we can do is to share your views with the powers that be.  

On behalf of patients and OOSO, I take part in local and national groups that discuss patient care, sharing our experiences with lead NHS practitioners.  Soon we'll be offering a shortlist of things that could and should be done to help improve patient care.

I would be very grateful if you could find 5 minutes to email me
here with 1-2 things that went well for you and really mattered, and 1-2 things that should have been better.

From what you say, I will compile a short summary to discuss at our next OOSO Zoom session before finalising and sharing it through the Thames Valley Cancer Alliance and Cancer Advisory Group.

Keeping in touch

Every now and then we like to let you know how OOSO is connecting with people, which we do in a variety of ways. 

Throughout the Covid lockdowns we continued to receive phone calls and emails from patients seeking information and reassurances, at a very difficult time for them, compounded by social distancing and complicated restrictions. The clinical team at the Churchill Hospital led by Nick Maynard quite simply ploughed on relentlessly, coping brilliantly well with all the added risks, just getting on with the job of providing life saving treatment. Obviously our OOSO ward visits had to be suspended, but thankfully like many others we added zoom to our armoury, which enabled us to have many face to face conversations as well as phone calls. So, effectively our patient contacts carried on. 

However, whilst Covid restrictions have ended for most, we are still not able to visit patients on the ward - a sensible precaution given that Covid hasn't gone away and patients on the Upper GI Ward are at vulnerable stages of their recovery. Despite this, we continue to speak with 3-4 patients and their families every week, adding up to be in excess of 150 patient contacts over the year. Coupled with follow-up chats, zoom calls and email exchanges, we remain busy supporting people when they need it most.

Our newsletter circulation has grown steadily over the last 20 months by about 25%, which tells us we're doing something right. Some charities are very active with lots of volunteers but we find the low key listening approach is what most people suffering from cancer want, especially when unwell and going through treatment.

Our website continues to be a popular port of call with many hundreds of folk across the globe logging in to see what we offer.  It surprises us just how many visits we receive from literally dozens of countries.  Here's the latest summary of website visits from the top 10: 


In the scheme of things these are small numbers, but nevertheless we're very fortunate to be able to make a difference!

Travel tip

Being a current or former patient can make it a nightmare finding a decent travel insurance deal, or in some cases not even getting a quote. 

Andrew Yoemans kindly shares with us his recent search for travel insurance. Andrew says...

"I tried with their pre-existing conditions cover, and ended up with (a brand of Rock Insurance) for just under £100 for a week's cover. Curiously getting a quote directly from added £200 medical cover on top, so my suggestion is to try through comparison websites first. I did find some insurers would give a good quote, but would omit the pre-existing condition cover, you needed to look hard to see it was excluded and to find out how to include it, if they accepted it at all."

After a bit of online research I find it easier to give them a call. It might take a while to get through but then you can ask questions and clarify what's included. Currently we have our annual family travel insurance with "AllClear Travel Insurance", who I found easy to talk with. 

Zoom in

Join us on Tuesday 23rd at 7pm for a lively hour sharing news, tips and experiences. The theme for the meeting will be "What went well? What could have been better?"

If you aren’t already on our zoom invitees list just
drop me a line here - we’d love you to join in. We'll be sending out invites later next week ahead of the 23rd - check your Spam folder just in case it doesn't make your mailbox. 

Stay cool out there!

Kind regards
Matt Carter
Chair of the Trustees
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