New youth forum to develop cancer services

Young people with representatives at the launch event.

Young people with representatives at the launch event.

A forum in Tayside has been launched which will involve children and young people in the development of cancer services.

The National Youth Advisory Forum will provide a platform where young people can take an active part in how age-appropriate cancer services are developed locally and nationally.

The forum was launched on April 1 by the Managed Service Network for Children and Young People with Cancer (MSN CYPC).

Young People aged between 16 and 24 who have had a diagnosis of cancer in the last five years will be able to join the National Youth Advisory Forum and contribute to the development of cancer services, with the aim of improving life for young people with cancer.

Establishing the forum is an important milestone in achieving the ambition to engage with young people and understand their unique perspective of what it is like to be diagnosed with cancer.

Ayesha McGregor, who uses the service, welcomed the new initiative. She said: “The Youth Advisory Forum will be a great opportunity for 16-24 year olds to voice their opinion on cancer services.

“It will also give us the chance to give advice on how to improve on cancer services in the future using our personal experiences so that young people in the future will have the best services and care during their treatment.”

Health Secretary Shona Robison said: “Involving people with cancer in the decisions around their care is a key ambition of our cancer strategy. I am delighted the launch of the National Youth Advisory Forum will make a major contribution toward that ambition, by further strengthening the voice of young people in the design and delivery of cancer services.”

Sophie Geoghegan-Fittall, youth participation co-ordinator, Teenage Cancer Trust added: “The forum will provide an incredible platform for children and young people to influence and inform decisions that affect their lives and those of other young people who receive a cancer diagnosis in Scotland.

“We know that the voice of young people should be central to the development and delivery of cancer services in Scotland and across the UK. I am excited to see the impact of the forum over the coming months and years and how it contributes to shaping cancer services.”

Young people who would like more information can contact the MSN CYPC by email at youthforum.tayside@nhs.net