Health charity Myeloma UK has launched the Myeloma Academy, a unique online programme designed to meet the educational needs of health care professionals involved in the treatment and care of patients with this rare bone marrow cancer.
The programme will help deliver the government's major priorities for cancer care, both nationally and locally, and support health care professionals in delivering the highest standards of treatment and care for myeloma patients across the UK, says the charity.
The Academy went live at a meeting at the House of Commons on June 27 - during Myeloma Awareness Week which ran from June 21-28 - and its introduction was welcomed by an Early Day Motion lodged in Parliament by John Baron, the Conservative MP for Basildon and Billericay who chairs the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Cancer (APPGC).
The new online resource provides designated educational materials for both hospital doctors and nurses, including tutorials, interactive cases and best-practice guidelines. It "provides you with relevant, tailored and accessible learning opportunities to fit around your busy schedule," and "aids your professional development by providing continuing professional development (CPD)-accredited learning opportunities," Myeloma UK tells health care professionals.
For patients, the Academy will provide the best possible treatment and care, customised to their individual circumstances, allow them to feel valued and equal partners in decisions about their treatment and care and develop the ability of medical teams to understand more about patients' needs, perspectives and perceptions, the charity adds.
Eric Low, chief executive of Myeloma UK, described the initiative as "very ambitious for a small charity," and emphasised the collaborative approach taken by the group, which works in partnership with all stakeholders, including patients, health care professionals and the pharmaceutical industry.
Welcoming the Academy in Parliament, Mr Baron noted that this rare cancer affects 14,000 people across the UK. He emphasised the importance of this new initiative in helping to deliver the government's priorities for improving patient outcomes, equality and experience - as outlined in Improving Outcomes, the cancer strategy published by the Department of Health in January - and urged MPs to endorse the Academy in their constituencies.