Unknown-3The first Discussion Seminar in our ESRC Seminar Series on Cancer & Employment was held, as planned, on Tuesday 21st April in the Institute of Medical Science, University of Aberdeen and hosted by the Academic Unit of Urology. Our thanks go to Dr Sara MacLennan and Sarah Murdoch (Academic Urology Unit (AUU), Aberdeen) who organised the meeting. It was well attended attracting many of the key people and organisations in NE Scotland concerned with dealing with the issues associated cancer and employment.

images-3The seminar focused on three things: (1) better understanding these issues through the lens of those with cancer and their families, (2) translating our current knowledge into policy and practice (broadly defined) and (3) identifying gaps in our current knowledge that hinder moving quickly from research into action. Framing this seminar, and those that will follow in the series, is a desire to build a network of interested and informed colleagues who will work together to promote the area and to build capability by encouraging and mentoring those early in their careers. At this early stage in the project’s development, a network of some 50 people is emerging.

IMG_2273The morning session was introduced by Dr Sara MacLennan who gave a short presentation on the ESRC Seminar Series project. She then gave an informed overview of some of the likely issues based on her own research in the NHS Grampian region with a focus on the SCOT-PAIS: Better Ways Initiative that is funded by UCAN and Macmillan Cancer Support in Scotland. She then introduced the guest speakers: Dr Gail Eva (Clinical Sciences, Brunel) and Dr Fehmidah Munir (Sport, Exercise & Health Sciences, Loughborough) both respected researchers in psychosocial oncology. They illustrated the area, our knowledge of it and its challenges with reference to their own research. The three presentations will be made available through the AUU website and will also be accessible through the website of the Centre for Sustainable Working Life (CSWL), Birkbeck University of London.

The afternoon session, chaired by Professor Tom Cox (CSWL, Birkbeck University of London) was given over to group discussions which proved lively, constructive and informative as witnessed in the final feedback and plenary session.

The later feedback on the seminar itself was uniformly positive and very encouraging. The information gleaned during the day and the learning points to be taken from the meeting will be discussed by the Managing Team and then discussed in the second Development Seminar. The second Discussion Seminar will be held in Newcastle on 9th July and will look at the issues involved in cancer and employment from the economic perspective. Further information from: Dr Heather Brown (Institute of Health & Society, University of Newcastle: heather.brown@newcastle.ac.uk).


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