Cancer Patient Partner

Purpose of Role

As part of the newly established STP Cancer Forum, our Patient Partners will work directly with clinicians and NHS managers to ensure that the voice and lived experience of services users, carers and the wider community is used to inform and improve local services. We want co-production to be at the centre of the transformation and cancer pathway reviews. The Patient Partners may also be involved in supporting contract monitoring of cancer services.

Broadly speaking, the Patient Partners will:

• Represent a range of people affected by cancer who use health services in our area

• Use their experience and knowledge to provide advice on how proposals may impact on people with cancer

• Draw on the views and experience of other cancer support or community groups (if they are a member), so that the work is informed by a broad range of perspectives.

• Constructively challenge the thinking of healthcare professionals where/when necessary


What you will be required to do:

• Attend and participate at meetings. There are likely to be four per year at various locations across the area. Flexible working may include the provision for Skype or telephone participation. Pathway and other project groups are being established, which patient partners may wish to join. 

About you

We are looking for people who have experience of cancer services; in particular people affected by lung, colorectal, prostate and breast cancer within the past five years, as a patient, carer or relative. You will be passionate about wanting to improve the quality of services for people affected by cancer and should be willing to share your experiences and opinions. You should also be capable of listening to, valuing and gathering the views and experiences of other people.

Eligibility for role:

• You have been treated for cancer, or have cared for someone who has received treatment for cancer, within the past 5 years. If you are a carer, this must be in a personal and unpaid capacity.

• The treatment for cancer has been received at an NHS hospital in the Mid and South Essex area.

• You might be a member of a voluntary or community sector support group.

You are not eligible if you are a current clinical NHS employee or contractor.



Demonstrable experience of cancer services as a patient, carer, relative or member of the public within the past five years. This could include recent membership of a cancer support or involvement group.

Relevant experience from other roles (these need not be paid roles) i.e. parent/carer with listening & relationship skills.


Ability to listen to others without interruption.

Clear and concise communicator.

Empathy for others.

Ability to review complex documentation for relevant information.

Ability to understand the strategic nature of the STP – i.e. not to think only about local services or one particular cancer disease site.


Basic knowledge and understanding of the NHS.

Understanding of the patient perspective in the wider context of cancer services and health care.

Personal Qualities

Approachable with a constructive, positive attitude.

Ability to listen to others and express own view clearly and succinctly.

Ability to articulate a patient perspective beyond personal experience where necessary.

Confident communicating within mixed group of health professionals and patients.

Constructively questioning; inquiring mind.

What will we offer you:

• A chance to have an input directly into the implementation of the Essex Cancer Transformation Programme so that it works for every cancer patient.

• An opportunity to meet with the people who make decisions about the treatment and care you receive and challenge and support them to make things better.

• Our Partner Training Package, which includes modules on engaging with the public and local communities, the power of voice and lived experience, and understanding commissioning, as well as a range of other training courses.

• Involvement in Healthwatch Essex wider Ambassador network. You will be invited to attend our events and have the opportunity to be involved in other projects in the future.

• A dedicated member of Healthwatch Essex staff to support you.

• Signposting to additional sources of support if you need it. We understand that talking about cancer can be difficult. Partners can take a break at any point, if required.

• Reimbursement of reasonable travel expenses, in line with our Expenses Policy

• Meetings to be held in accessible venues. Please let us know if you have any accessibility needs, and we will explore how best to make reasonable adjustments

• Transparency and honesty about what we can and cannot achieve

• Use of plain, jargon free language in meetings and an explanation of all acronyms

• Access to information, including meeting papers, in good time to allow you to prepare and raise questions


  • Accessibility
  • Data Protection policy
  • DBS check required
    This will be arranged with organisation
  • Equal opportunities policy
  • Expenses reimbursed
    within reason
  • Health and Safety Policy
  • Ongoing support
  • Suitable for under 18s
  • Training provided
  • Volunteer induction
  • Volunteer policy
  • Volunteers covered by insurance
  • Written role description

When can I volunteer?

Start Date: 03/09/2018

End Date: 03/09/2019

Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
Morning No No No No No No No
Afternoon No No No No No No No
Evening No No No No No No No

Availability Details

Hours and days to be discussed with the Volunteer and Organisation


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