Mary & Sharon: What matters to you when affected by cancer

We are two Local Area Coordinators, Mary Lynch and Sharon Breeze, working for a Macmillan service called Improving the Cancer Journey which is delivered jointly with Fife Health and Social Care Partnership.  We have been working in this role for over two years.

Mary Lynch, Local Area Co-ordinator (LAC)

We meet people in their own community across Fife who are affected by cancer.  We find out what matters to the person; helping to identify issues that have been causing some concern within the last week.  We do this with a concerns checklist which we use as part of the good conversation approach we have with each person.  This is about using our skills of listening deeply to help us discover what matters most to each individual.

The impact of a cancer diagnosis can be financial, emotional and psychological as well as the obvious physical impacts and it is important that people are enabled to find the right supports, advice and information at the point where they really need them and to remove any barriers for the person.  For example, a barrier may be to go to Maggie’s, we would set up a referral to make it easier for the person.

Sharon Breeze, Local Area Co-ordinator (LAC)

We refer to other agencies including Move More Fife and we will also provide Macmillan booklets that may help people understand more about cancer and the impact of this.

As a Fife wide service, we work across all areas of Fife and aim to identify community assets that are already in existence as well as resources that can support people without the need for formal services.  We are continuing to build good links in communities and work closely with all our partners.  Another part of our work is to identify any gaps in the community that would benefit from our input and/or joint working with other organisations.

Many of the people we have worked with have told us that having a cancer diagnosis can leave them feeling very isolated and not knowing which way to turn.  Having a worker to help identify what matters to them and create a support plan together can make a real difference to their sense of wellbeing and can increase their feelings of being in control of the situation.

Please feel free to approach us and find out if the service would be helpful for you, your patient or your client.  Equally, make a referral and we will contact the person.

To find to out more contact us 01592 578076 or

Check out the Improving the Cancer Journey Leaflet

The Improving the Cancer Journey  service builds on the Transforming Care After Treatment (TCAT) work which was officially launched by the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing in June 2013.  Over the course of 2016/17 funding from Macmillan Cancer Support was invested to focus on the initial three areas:

Lung Cancer

Skin Cancer (Melanoma)

Integrated Cancer Care Support

‘The Well’ – A new health and social care information hub launches in Kennoway

Come along to ‘The Well in Kennoway’ – A new health and social care information hub launches on Wed 4 July 2018.
Cllr David Graham, Health and Social Care spokesperson will officially open ‘The Well’ on Wednesday 4 July, 1-4pm at Kennoway Community Shed, Cotlands Park Sports in Kennoway KY8 5HX
Tea, Coffee and Scones will be available.
Thereafter ‘The Well’ will be open every Thursday morning at Kennoway Community Shed between 10am and 12 noon.
‘The Well’ will have a variety of information stands with community representatives, staff from the voluntary sector and others from across health and social care who are ready to chat about whatever matters to you.
Information ranges from how to find out about a care home, equipment to help you or a relative live safely at home through to befriending or joining an interest group to keep you active.
The initiative is part of Fife Health and Social Care Partnership’s work to connect with local communities. To find out more visit:

Joining Up Care Consultation is now live (2 July to 8 Oct 2018)

Our  ‘Joining Up Care’ Consultation is now live and we want you to take part.

Running from 2 July to 8 October 2018, the aim is to join care across communities and hospital services. This will allow the Partnership to continue to respond to people’s health and social care needs and support people to stay well, independent and at home for as long as they can.

Michael Kellet, Director, Fife Health and Social Care Partnership said: “Through the consultation we want to hear the widest range of voices possible from right across Fife.  From the North East to the South West and everywhere in-between, we are open to hearing ideas and suggestions as to how sustainable services can be developed at a local and Fife wide level.

To make sure that care remains safe and sustainable now and in the future, all three parts of the Joining Up Care proposal will be progressed together.  I encourage as many people as possible to take part so that we ensure people get the right care, at the right time, in the right place – day or night.”

The full consultation proposal is set out in 3 parts:

Part 1: Community Health and Wellbeing Hubs

A more joined up approach to your care.

The proposal is to:

  • Set up seven Community Health and Wellbeing Hubs, one for each of the following areas:  Dunfermline, Cowdenbeath/Lochgelly, Kirkcaldy, Glenrothes, Levenmouth, North East Fife and South and West Fife Villages
  • Community Health and Wellbeing teams will work within these Hubs.  These are health and social care staff who will work together to co-ordinate care and arrange appointments, all in one place wherever possible.
  • For the South West and North East Fife areas, teams will respond to rural and local needs by travelling around to work from different places on different days.

Due to the aging population, the Hub teams will initially focus on supporting people who are frail or have age-related problems. This will help identify people earlier and steps can be taken to improve their health and wellbeing so they can stay well and independent for longer.

Part 2: Out of Hours Urgent Care Redesign

A more sustainable way of responding out of hours.

Out of Hours Urgent Care services, means care for people who need a GP or a nurse when their GP surgery is closed. It is not Accident and Emergency (A&E) at the hospital.

The Partnership is proposing two new options, alongside a description of the challenges around the current way of working. These two new options take account of the clinical safety, transport and workforce problems in the current system.  The options being consulted on are:

  • Do nothing Option  (staying the same)
  • Option 1 – two centres (Dunfermline and Kirkcaldy), with only Kirkcaldy open overnight
  • Option 2 – two centres (Dunfermline and Kirkcaldy), both open overnight.

Options 1 and 2 both deliver urgent care centres within a one-hour drive for everyone in Fife.  The changes being proposed are in response to the national and local challenges in regards to GP shortages, national recommendations in regards to Out of Hours and will ensure the on-going clinical safety of patients.

Part 3: Community Hospital and Intermediate Care Bed Redesign

Helping people stay independent for longer and avoiding hospital admissions.

At this stage, people are being asked for their views on developing more ‘intermediate’ care beds across Fife and the balance between those beds and beds in our community hospitals.   Intermediate care beds are based within a care home setting.  They are used to support older or frail people who have had a stay in hospital but who often need a bit more support to regain skills, confidence and physical strength before returning home.

Fife teams have already started to develop this intermediate care bed approach and now want to grow the service across Fife.  Known as Short Term Assessment and Review Team (START) it has been proved to successfully shorten the time that people spend in a community hospital, freeing the bed up for those patients who have complex, medical care needs.

Equally START beds could be used more proactively to keep people out of hospital all together where appropriate.  Public feedback at this stage will help the Partnership develop more detailed proposals around intermediate care and our community hospital provision for public consultation later this year.

To find out more and to take part visit where you will find a range of animations and videos as well as the Joining Up Care Consultation Summary, full consultation document and the link to the questionnaire.

To request hard copies of the full Joining Up Consultation pack, which includes a freepost envelope: