Matthew said “Betterdays services are designed and delivered in a culturally sensitive way ensuring that all women receive care according to their individual need. The charity established by Marina is the Big Society in action. A project run by someone who knows better than health providers and provides services not available by the state.”
The 8th March 2011 was a monumental day in the history of Better Days Cancer Care with the tireless work of Founder Marina Raime culminating with the formal launch of her adaption of the Harold. P Freeman Patient Navigation Programme. The implementation of the Patient Navigation Programme is not only a first for Better Days Cancer Care but the first time the Patient Navigation concept has been introduced to the UK. To mark this achievement the Patient Navigation Programme was launched at the prestigious House of Commons in the presence of a diverse audience all of whom have an interest in ensuring that inequalities in breast cancer care and the access to breast health services are eliminated. Patient Navigation is a Public Health intervention that aims to engage directly with marginalised communities affected by cancer, guide them through the health care system and in so doing reduce the barriers to timely diagnosis and treatment.
The proceedings of the launch were chaired by Dr. Frank Chinegwundoh, Chairman of Cancer Black Care and a Consultant Urological Surgeon and the guest of honour and key note speaker was Dr. Harold P. Freeman himself who shared his experiences on the development of the initial programme in Harlem, New York and offered support and advice on the introduction of Patient Navigation to the UK. Other speakers included Prof Julietta Patnick, Director of the NHS Cancer Screening Programme, Paula Lloyd, Associate Director Patient Experience from the National Cancer Action Team and Dr. Gillian Holdsworth, Consultant in Public Health Medicine from NHS Southwark, all of whom highlighted the need for such a programme and spoke about the success of the work conducted on the Patient Navigation Pilot Project by Better Days Cancer Care in partnership Cancer Black Care. It was noted that the level of success achieved so far on this project was unprecedented as attempts over the last 20 years to engage with black women to encourage their uptake of breast cancer screening have not been as effective.
In addition, Marina Raime the Founder and Director of Better Days Cancer Care spoke about her experience as a breast cancer patient and how this motivated her to explore potential strategies to improve the experience and outcome of black women affected by breast cancer in the UK. This research led her to the Harold P Freeman Patient Navigation Institute and germinated her desire to see Patient Navigation become a reality in the UK. Finally, Abi Ajose-Adeogun, a Patient Navigator, from Better Days Cancer Care summarised the progress of the Patient Navigation Pilot demonstrating its effectiveness at ensuring more black women access breast health services to ensure the early diagnosis of breast cancer and timely treatment.
The launch was a proud day in the history of Better Days Cancer Care and the organisation would like to thank all its supporters over the past 10 years for enabling our success.