On Monday 26 June we were given the use of the Information Point at the hospital.
The picture shows Chairman, Ray Mountain presenting a boogie board to Head and Neck Nurse Practitioner, Mary Green. This device is for the use of any patient admitted onto Devonshire ward unable to communicate verbally, through being a laryngectomee, tracheostomee or for other reasons.
A boogie board is a thin tablet with a liquid crystal display. You can write on it with a stylus or finger and wipe it clean in an instant using a delete button. It can assist communication between the patient and both their clinicians and families.
We also raised some funds and promoted awareness of early signs of head and neck cancer. As usual at such days there were many valuable conversations with patients, visitors and staff.
On Wednesday June 7th, the Joint Committee for Vaccinations and Immunisation will be discussing extending the HPV vaccination programme to boys as well as girls.
Here is NALC’s view:
From statistics published in 2014, head and neck cancer incidence has increased by 30% since the early 1990s. Though the reduction in smoking has had benefits this has been eclipsed by the contribution of HPV to head and neck cancer incidence.
The Center for Disease Prevention and Control estimates over 70% of oropharyngeal cancer is due to HPV. The % of cases of laryngeal cancer attributable to HPV is lower but still significant, according to International Agency for Cancer Research reports.
NALC strongly supports the proposal for the inclusion of boys in the HPV programme. If the JCVI is convinced of the efficacy of the long-standing programme for girls, why is it resisting its extensions to boys? Like leading clinicians in the field, as well as relevant professional organisations and other patient groups, NALC is convinced the proposal would lead to a reduction in people developing the awful disease that is head and neck cancer.