Strathclyde researchers work with patients and NHS Lanarkshire clinician to raise awareness of breast cancer

Young people sharing a coffee and talking

Researchers from the University of Strathclyde are holding a three-part storytelling workshop to learn more about the public’s experiences of breast cancer and promote awareness of breast cancer via the medium of oral history and storytelling.

The ‘Recounting the Untold Stories of Breast Cancer: Narratives from the Patient, Clinician and Scientist Perspective’ event series is funded by the University of Strathclyde Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council Impact Acceleration Fund as a part of its Health and Care Futures initiative.

Through its Health and Care Futures activity, Strathclyde is working with NHS Lanarkshire as a key strategic partner and beyond to promote the delivery of new models of care focusing on prevention, and empowering individuals and populations to live as well as possible at home and in their communities.

The three storytelling workshop sessions will take place at the Summerlee Museum of Scottish Industrial Life in Coatbridge on Tuesday 2 August (5-8 pm), Thursday 18 August (10-3 pm) and Sunday 4 September (4:30-7:30 pm).

Informal environment

Dr Zahra Rattray, a senior lecturer in the Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences (SIPBS), who researches breast cancer, is the lead academic host on the initiative. She will be working closely with SIPBS colleagues Dr Margaret Cunningham and Dr Nicholas Rattray; Mrs Alison Lannigan, a consultant breast surgeon from NHS Lanarkshire; Allison Galbraith, of the Scottish Storytelling Centre; and Dr Yvonne McFadden, co-director of the Scottish Oral History Centre, to deliver this workshop series.

Dr Rattray said: “The aim of the project is to break down the silos between the patient with breast cancer receiving treatment, the clinician delivering their care, and the researcher seeking new cures for breast cancer in laboratories. We want to hear from patients, carers, relatives, clinicians and scientists, and their experiences of breast cancer.

“Storytelling provides an informal environment to achieve this goal and makes the voices and perspectives of everyone heard. Beyond the event, we will share the legacy of the stories captured through podcasts and an exhibition of the outputs via the Engage with Strathclyde and Images of Research events to raise awareness of breast cancer and how Strathclyde and its partnership with NHS Lanarkshire will contribute to improving patient outcomes in the years to come.”

Mrs Lannigan said: “The clinicians from the breast service in NHS Lanarkshire are excited to be collaborating with the University of Strathclyde in this initiative and we are delighted that there has been an enthusiastic response from our patients to tell their stories and take part in the workshops.”

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