The National Association of Laryngectomee Clubs (NALC) was set up in 1975 by laryngectomee groups in London, Bristol, Nottingham and Birmingham. Its purpose was to promote the rehabilitation of laryngectomees after their operation, providing them with the information and support that was needed. It also sought to promote public understanding of the needs of laryngectomees, their carers and families. It became a registered charity in 1976.
For many years, NALC was an associated charity of Macmillan Cancer Support. It had clubs all around the UK, who provided the sort of non-medical help and information that can only come from experience of living as a laryngectomee. In recent years the number of clubs has fallen, as has the number of hospitals performing laryngectomies, and NALC is no longer connected to Macmillan. However our aims and purposes remain the same as they were in 1975.
Services provided by NALC
Information for patients
We provide leaflets and DVDs to help and inform patients before and after their surgery. Many hospital trusts give their patients our information packs.
We have a website from which all our leaflets can be downloaded, along with news of laryngectomee developments and events. We have a Youtube channel with many videos available and we are active on Twitter.
Our phoneline provides a nationwide resource for laryngectomees and their families when they need support and advice. We also support professionals in a variety of settings who work with laryngectomees, especially those unfamiliar with our needs, such as care home staff.
Our quarterly newsletter keeps members up to date with laryngectomee news, new prescription items and laryngectomee activities.
Online meetings, using the Zoom platform, are organised throughout the year. We invite guest speakers, often clinicians who are experienced in working with laryngectomees.
Supporting local groups
We support local groups in a variety of ways and are keen to help new or changing groups.
We contribute to events at hospitals and universities to advise about the needs of laryngectomees, providing a valuable patient perspective, especially around patient safety. We also have training resources to assist clinicians who may be unfamiliar with our needs, such as community nurses.
Providing a patient voice
For many years, NALC has provided a patient voice on relevant national groups and committees, including NICE guideline and quality standard committees. We are involved with the UK Head and Neck Cancer Coalition, which was formed in 2022.
NALC supports research projects and studies in many ways, including reporting experiences, reviewing patient materials or joining patient advisory groups.
Executive Group Member
Professor Martin Birchall
Principal Patron and Medical Adviser
Editor of Clan