Daloni Carlisle and Rob Martinez were invited to give evidence to the Health and Social Care Committee's inquiry into the delivery of core NHS and care services during the pandemic and beyond on 16 June 2020.
Daloni shared her experiences of accessing and using cancer services during the coronavirus pandemic and Rob shared his experience of having a knee replacement surgery cancelled due to the pandemic. Their presence was facilitated by National Voices.
Jeremy Hunt MP, Chair of the Health and Social Care Committe, explained the importance of Daloni and Rob's contribution to the inquiry:
"Hearing from patients like Daloni and Rob gives us on the Committee a unique opportunity to find out what it means to live with delays to cancer treatment, or delays to surgery. Told in their own words, their experiences powerfully illustrate the impact that the pandemic has had, in this case, on our NHS services.
The work of committees would be much the poorer without those who are willing to tell of their 'lived experience'. I don’t doubt that it takes courage to do so. I would like to put our gratitude on record."
About her experience, Daloni Carlisle said:
"I had the honour to be invited to give oral evidence to the Health and Social Care Committee, talking about my experience of using the NHS as a cancer patient during the lockdown.
It was a pretty daunting invite. I was to speak to Committee MPs, answering their questions about the treatment I had received in A&E, from my GP and community nurses and what impact lockdown had on my routine care.
Would I do a good job of getting across to committee members just what it’s been like?"
How did you prepare for the session?
"The preparation process was extremely helpful and included a briefing in advance with the Second Clerk of the Committee and two members of Versus Arthritis. I wrote up my statement just two days before the session. This was relatively easy to produce and the Clerk provided me with the four questions I would need to answer at the session."
— Rob Martinez
"Preparing for the session started a few days before it was scheduled to take place. The Second Clerk of the Committee gave me a thorough briefing about the subject matter of the inquiry, the timing and running order that was planned for the day itself and the technology we would be using. The briefing included details of the kinds of questions MPs wanted me to answer, giving me a chance to prepare ahead of time.
The Committee session was to take place over the internet using the Zoom app. I had experience using Zoom for family quizzes so I felt reasonably comfortable about the technology."
How did you feel on the day of the session?
Daloni Carlisle said:
"On the day of the Committee session I logged on as directed and watched the first few witnesses give their evidence. Then it was my turn. I felt well prepared and able to answer everything I was asked. I even forgot that the session was being televised.
I think I did do a good job and was able to put across my perspective in this important debate and that’s partly because of the preparation put in by the Committee secretariat."
Rob Martinez said:
"On the day of the session I was quite my normal self and did not feel nervous. I was very pleased overall with how things went and how I delivered my own personal experience across to the panel."
Would you encourage others to share their experiences with a Select Committee?
"I am so pleased I was given this chance to be involved and would certainly recommend to anyone that has the same opportunity to do so. I most certainly feel that my own personal experiences have been listened to and I hope some progress will be made with getting my surgery sooner than later."
"If you ever have the chance to give evidence as a witness, I would say forget your nerves and go for it. You’ve been invited because you have something important to say and the team do everything they can to make sure you are able to make your voice heard."
Find out more about this session:
The written and oral evidence received for the inquiry on delivering core NHS and care services during the pandemic and beyond is available on the Committee's website.
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