New study into Dorset's cancer support needs

New study into Dorset's cancer support needs

Published by George Sharpe at 8:30am 6th April 2019.

It will survey hundreds of locals, with any type of cancer.

Wessex Cancer Trust has launched a major piece of research to find out what local people need most in terms of cancer support.

  • The Trust says it will help make their services more bespoke to local needs.
  • It will survey hundreds of local people with cancer.

The charity, who provide free emotional and practical support, have partnered with Bournemouth University to carry out the research.

The results will put the views and experiences of patients, carers and healthcare professionals at the heart of shaping cancer support services in Dorset, as well as Hampshire, the Isle of Wight and Wiltshire.

Experts will survey hundreds of local people aged between 10 and 100 who have any type of cancer at any stage, families and friends affected by cancer, and major stakeholders including local hospitals, local authorities, other charities and hospices.

Questions will include:

  •  What do people affected by cancer worry about or need?
  • What gaps do service providers feel need to be filled?
  • And what do families and friends need in terms of support?
  • Bournemouth University researchers will analyse the responses to help Wessex Cancer Trust to build up an accurate picture of need, and make sure local people receive the best possible support from the charity.

Launching the survey, Wessex Cancer Trust's CEO Cait Allen said: "As a regional charity, we have the flexibility and freedom to tailor our services to our own unique populations, and that's how we've been able to provide very specific and relevant support to people affected by cancer in our local area. We're committed to evolution and innovation, and this new research will help us develop our services to directly address local need.

"Over 100,000 people are living with cancer in this region. The impact on them and their families is wide-reaching, and lasts well beyond the end of treatment. The recently published NHS Long Term Plan ( has a strong focus on diagnosis, meaning more people will be living with cancer and for longer. As these numbers continue to increase, demand for our services is at its highest level. In light of this changing environment, it's vitally important that the people who benefit from our work, and those who refer people to us, help to shape what we provide and how it's delivered. We're approaching our 40th birthday, and pride ourselves on being able to respond to the ever-changing cancer environment over our long history."

To have a say on the future of cancer support services in Wessex, visit