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12th December 2019

London Members’ Conference Report November 2019

109 members attended the sixth and final conference for this year. It was held at the ETC Conference Venue! Drummond Street, Pimlico, London. The conference included a pilot session on mental wellbeing developed from the presentation by Dr Katherine Hicks and her team from Addenbrooks.

Members Paul Newis and Sean O’Neil opened the conference with the traditional members’ CLL stories. Both acknowledge the value of having a dedicated charity to support CLL patients and families and to campaign for better treatments.

Colin Russell and Marc Auckland presented a new session on mental wellbeing. This was driven by member feedback and based on the core 3 emotions model presented at the Cambridge Conference by Dr Katherine Hicks and her Psychology team from Addenbrooks. The aim is to develop the session and content in order that it can be used on future conferences and potentially as a session local groups could run. The vision is for mental wellbeing materials and resources to be built up and available on the website.

Marc Auckland closed the morning programme with a CLLSA update including an update of CLL in the UK, new trustees and the charity’s recent rebranding and new website.

The afternoon session was opened by the key speaker Dr Piers Patten MB ChB FRCP FRCPath PhD, Consultant Haematologist and Clinical Senior Lecturer based at Kings College and Guys and St Thomas hospitals in London. Piers discussed the latest treatment of CLL, supportive care and the best way to follow up CLL in 2019.

Karen is an Advanced Haematology Nurse with over twenty years’ experience, twelve as a CLL/Lymphoma Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) and works at Guys hospital. Karen started by explaining the role of a Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) and Karen went on to emphasise that a CNS should aim to ensure all the information is tailored and understood by the patient and family. Ellie Wellving is also a CNS with twelve years’ experience including CLL treatment working in Kings College. Ellie took over from Karen going on to explain about lifestyle, diet and immunisation.

Thanks to all our speakers and to Donna Munro from CLLSA’s sister charity LeukaemiaCare and Rona Eade from the Lymphoma Association who were present providing information and literature to members.