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News update
AUTUMN 2017

National Tracheostomy Week starts Monday 6 November. Each day will see the launch of new resources around a specific theme including patients and families, quality and safety and resources for front-line staff.
Watch this space! and follow the news on Twitter: @laryngectomy75
 
On 13 October, Brenda Loynds from the Manchester Club and NALC President Malcolm Babb manned a stall at a Macmillan Health and Well-Being Event for Head and Neck Patients at Wythenshawe Hospital, Manchester. 
 
Later that day Malcolm also an interview for use by the National Tracheostomy Safety Project, at the invitation of Brendan McGrath who leads the project. The video will be a training resource, describing the laryngectomee journey. 


Lively and informative Patient Day 21 Sept in Edinburgh
 
We heard from Sam Majumdar, consultant ear, nose and throat surgeon and laryngologist as well as President Malcolm Babb, the Edinburgh fire brigade, Macmillan Scotland and David Gibb from Advice Shop Scotland


Notes from a busy AGM

On 15 May, we welcomed researchers and engineers from Hull and Sheffield Universities who introduced a novel alternative for speech, created from previous recordings of the speaker, and paired to a smartphone app. NALC's fundraising efforts are bearing fruit, and we're looking forward to upcoming patient days in Scotland and Wales as well as the annual Cancer Focus event in Northern Ireland. 


Improving tracheostomy care

Tony and Maureen Hudson (Vice-President and his wife/carer) and Malcolm Babb attended a meeting of the Improving Tracheostomy Care Project, in Birmingham.

The project is organised by the Health Foundation and the Royal College of Anaesthetists the meeting was attended by a range of doctors, nurses and allied professionals with an interest in tracheostomy safety.

We gave a presentation about NALC's work around patient safety. It was well-received and we made many new contacts which will help us extend our Education Programme.

We will be continuing to provide patient input and Maureen's perspective as a carer was much appreciated by the audience.

 

NICE Quality Standards

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The NICE Quality Standards Advisory Committee for Head and Neck Cancer has published its recommendations.

It focuses on four areas of treatment, following recommendations in the latest NICE guidelines published last year. If the recommendations are fully implemented the patient experience would be enhanced. Treatment options for cancer of the larynx feature in one of the quality statements.

The full report can be found here

NALC Vice-President, Tony Smith, was part of the group that produced the NICE guidelines and President, Malcolm Babb, was a member of the Quality Standards committee.

 


The Swallows

Led by Chris Curtis, The Swallows is a support group for head and neck cancer patients.  It is based in Blackpool but its reach is far wider than that. 

NALC looks forward to working with The Swallows to help achieve our shared goals.  Chris has worked with partners in the USA, Australia and elsewhere to launch the first worldwide Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Day on July 27th 2017.


Research Update - late 2016

The new treatment of immunotherapy offers much promise for providing more success than conventional treatments but also fewer side effects.  So far, for head and neck cancer, it is only used in clinical trials.  NALC has been asked to support a project to extend its use and if this secures the necessary funding we will be contributing for some years.  NALC is also supporting a project to identify best practice for supporting patients to overcome or cope with the long-term effects of the treatment they have received.

In 2016, members of NALC’s clubs assisted a research study by Lizz Summers, an SLT from Cambridge. The project successfully recruited sufficient patients and the findings, about experiences of using valve speech, will be published in the next edition of CLAN. 

 

Quality Standards

NALC President, Malcolm Babb, is a lay member of the NICE Quality Standards Advisory Committee for head and neck cancer.  

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Swimming update

NALC is pleased to support a new project to assist laryngectomees wishing to return to swimming. The Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Trust have introduced a programme to train patients to learn to swim again using a device called an aquather. They can also assist by providing training for professionals who wish to introduce a similar service in their own area. 

NALC is now aware of another location, Northampton, which along with Exeter offers training to laryngectomees wishing to return to swimming. 

 

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Generous Donation From Belfast: 2016

On October 1 Ward 29 (ENT) of the Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast organised a Coffee Morning to raise funds for NALC. Shown in the photograph is Alex McGuiggan, NALC Treasurer, receiving a cheque for £800 from CNS Daphne Riddell and Mr Barry Devlin, ENT Surgeon.

NALC is very grateful for this tremendous support and thanks all involved for their hard work and generosity.



Head and Neck Cancer Research overview

NALC’s core activity is to provide information to patients facing a laryngectomy and, through its affiliated clubs, to support them before and after the operation. However for many years NALC and its members have made a contribution to the whole range of patient and carer activity in support of the delivery of head and neck cancer treatment.

From its inception, the NCRI Head and Neck Cancer Clinical Studies Group has included patients or carers from NALC. Every year NALC is asked to support many proposals for studies or clinical trials that are seeking funding. Additionally, our members get involved in the running of these trials or studies.

NALC has helped helped a project based at University College, London, aiming to develop a synthetic robotic larynx, in its application for funding. This autumn we have given further support by recruiting laryngectomees to assist in a sub-study to look at the use of electromyographic signals in detecting basic functions such as breathing and coughing.

NALC is very grateful to the members of its clubs in London and surrounding areas that have volunteered to assist with this project.

 

Funding overview

NALC has been an associated charity of Macmillan since its formation in 1975, receiving financial support for all of its activities. In 2013 NALC learned that Macmillan wished to phase out its support over a three-year period, by the end of 2016.

A joint action plan was agreed to assist NALC develop its fundraising activities and this enabled NALC to continue to provide its full range of services in the current year, 2015. I am pleased to report that we will be able to do the same in 2016, despite a further reduction in Macmillan funding. This is because we have managed to meet our fundraising targets for the year.

We are very grateful to the clubs and individuals that have made this possible, by their hard work and generosity.

Looking further ahead, it will be essential to continue to develop our fundraising work and NALC’s officers have every confidence that our work to assist patients, carers and clinicians will continue for many years ahead.