Simon is a gynaecologist and oncologist at Betsi Catwaladr University Health Board in North Wales. He is QA Colposcopist for Wales and secretary for the European Federation for Coloposcopy.
"I came into contact with Jo's Cervical Cancer Trust through working with the BSCCP (British Society of Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology). Since then I have met the Chief Executive and the charity's staff at conferences where I was invited to be a peer reviewer. This involves checking various articles for the charity which covers colposcopy and cervical screening.
"The information the charity puts together is extremely important as we know many patients coming for colposcopy are anxious and don't understand the mechanics of the screening programme or the principals of what screening involves. It can also take a few weeks to receive results so getting recourse for information from an alternative source is important.
"We refer patients to the charity if they need further information or if they have any issues they feel more comfortable addressing with the charity rather than us. Personally I think JCCT has an important role to play in providing peer to peer support – introducing other patients to each other so helping to facilitate self help. It also provides an important lay support role. In other words we have medical staff who may not have the lay empathy that patients might receive through the charity's support services.
"Jo's and its patient groups are particularly helpful to professionals like myself because they inform what we should be doing and how we should do it in regards to areas such as tests and interventions. It's also useful to get fresh insights into what we do because we quickly develop a style and approach to patients that may work for a time but it's refreshing to get feedback so this style can be adapted and improved. This is invaluable.
"I get asked to review information a couple of times a year and I do it because it's important as a clinician to be able to contribute to provide understandable and useful pieces of information for patients. I like to do a bit of charity work as well.
"The networking side of things is also useful. I'm always pleased to meet JCCT at meetings, and there's always lot’s of positive things to catch up on, in particular developments with the cervical screening programme."