Maggie’s Dundee welcomes Health Secretary Shona Robison for National Conversation

Maggie’s Dundee, the charity which provides free practical, emotional and social support for people with cancer and their family and friends, welcomed Health Secretary Shona Robison to the Centre to meet with visitors and staff for a Healthier Scotland national conversation event on Friday (22 January 2016).

The meeting at Maggie’s Dundee’s big kitchen table was part of a series of events and discussions about creating a healthier Scotland which are taking place around the country.  Maggie’s Centre visitors had the opportunity to ask questions and to share their experience of the treatment and support available for people affected by cancer in Scotland.

The event came about following a visit to the Centre last October by Chris Law MP and Joe FitzPatrick MSP.

Maggie’s Dundee offers a free programme of high-quality support for people with cancer, as well as their family and friends, which includes practical support such as nutrition and benefits advice or stress management workshops, emotional support such as one-to-one time with a psychologist and the social support of talking and sharing a pot of tea with people who understand what it means to be living with cancer.

Health Secretary Shona Robison said: “Earlier this year I announced my intention to hold a national conversation about the future of our health and social care services.

“We want to know what really matters to people and their families and what support they need to lead healthier lives, whatever stage of life they are at.

“We held the first national conversation in Dundee in August and I was very pleased that we were able to hold another meeting at Maggie’s Dundee, in response to a request made to Joe FitzPatrick.

“It’s important for me to hear first-hand the issues that people have when they engage with our health and social services provision.”

Joe FitzPatrick, MSP for Dundee City West, said: “I visited Maggie’s Dundee, together with Chris Law, MP for Dundee West, in October and from our discussions with Lesley Howells, the Centre Head at Maggie’s Dundee, we agreed it would be useful for Maggie’s Centre visitors to come along and ask questions directly of the Health Secretary.

“I am delighted that the Health Secretary was able to do this and I know the people who came along were very pleased to be able to speak to her in person and voice their views on different aspects of health and social care provision and what they’d like to see in the future.”

Lesley Howells, Centre Head at Maggie’s Dundee, said: “We are delighted to have had the opportunity to join the national conversation on the future of health care in Scotland.  The people who visit Maggie’s Dundee have an extremely valuable contribution to make to the debate, sharing their experiences and discussing with the Health Secretary what matters most to them when thinking about healthcare.

“In addition, this year marks 20 years since the first Maggie’s Centre opened in Edinburgh, and it was wonderful to have the opportunity to discuss with Ms Robison how Maggie’s can best help to support people affected by cancer in Scotland in the next 20 years.”

Built in the grounds of Ninewells Hospital Maggie’s Dundee is a warm and welcoming place, with qualified professionals on hand to offer an evidence-based core programme of support that has been shown to improve physical and emotional wellbeing.

Maggie’s Dundee relies on voluntary donations to support and grow its network of Centres and to develop its unique, high quality programme of support. The charity’s aim is to make the biggest difference possible to people living with cancer and their family and friends.

To find out more about Maggie’s Dundee and to see how the Centre supports people with cancer across Dundee and Angus please visit the Centre at Ninewells Hospital, Tom McDonald Avenue, Dundee or get in touch on 01382 632999 or a Dundee@maggiescentres.org.

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Photo: (l to r) Maggie’s Dundee Centre visitors Bill Martin and Pauline Kinsman, Health Secretary Shona Robison, Centre visitors Rachel Gorrie and Arlene Fenton, Maggie’s Dundee Centre Head Lesley Howells, MSP Joe FitzPatrick.

For further information about Maggie’s Dundee please go to www.maggiescentres.org/dundee

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Healthier Scotland

The Scottish Government is inviting you to have your say on what a healthier Scotland should look like in the next 10 to 15 years.