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Helen Wilkes

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    P2.06 - Mesothelioma (ID 170)

    • Event: WCLC 2019
    • Type: Poster Viewing in the Exhibit Hall
    • Track: Mesothelioma
    • Presentations: 1
    • Moderators:
    • Coordinates: 9/09/2019, 10:15 - 18:15, Exhibit Hall
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      P2.06-25 - Mesothelioma UK Armed Forces Project: Establishing a National Support Service for Veterans / Armed Forces Personnel with Mesothelioma (ID 383)

      10:15 - 18:15  |  Author(s): Helen Wilkes

      • Abstract


      In 2012 the UK Government announced that fines levied against banks for manipulating the London Inter-Bank Offered rate (LIBOR) rates would be used to support Armed Forces and emergency charities. In 2016 Mesothelioma UK (MUK) applied for a grant from this scheme to support a three year project to develop a specialist service for Armed Forces personnel and veterans affected by mesothelioma – the asbestos related cancer.


      The aim of the project is to increase awareness and support for both serving and ex- military personnel who may have been exposed to asbestos. A work group which included representatives from MUK, patients/carers, advocacy groups and Veterans UK was established by MUK to set the fundamental elements of the project:

      • Provide a specialist mesothelioma nurse to lead the project

      • Provide a finance and benefits advisor specifically for Armed Forces personnel and veterans.

      • Work with multiple organisations and healthcare professionals, responsible for meeting the healthcare needs of Armed Forces personnel and veterans, to raise awareness about mesothelioma and available support.

      • Develop and deliver a range of information resources to raise awareness of the disease within the Armed Forces and military community.

      • A Facebook group Armed Forces patients, their family and friends and anyone interested in finding out more.

      • A comprehensive research programme will collate all available data to quantify and describe the mesothelioma burden among the Armed Forces explore the experience of Armed Forces personnel diagnosed with mesothelioma.•


      The project group developed a range of written information specifically aimed at the Armed Forces community focusing on raising awareness of asbestos exposure within the military. Awareness events proved to be a major factor in the growth of the project providing excellent networking opportunities and resulting in invitations to speak and exhibit at other events.

      A list of organisations and relevant groups was developed in preparation for the national roll out.

      A range of social media is used to publicise the project and events.

      A research project - Military Mesothelioma Experience Study (MiMES) has been developed with University of Sheffield and is recruiting.


      .The development of this service has been very well received by the Armed Forces community and the project continues to gather momentum, widening the range of contacts and links made. We are planning a programme of roll out throughout the UK using the network of MUK funded mesothelioma nurse specialists to facilitate service delivery in their regions.