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Physio takes director’s chair at cancer charity

14 October 2013 - 4:06pm

A physiotherapist is Macmillan Cancer Support’s new director for England.


Macmillan Cancer Support's new director for England: physiotherapist Fran Woodard

Fran Woodard moved to the charity’s London headquarters this week, where she leads a team of more than 100 staff focused on service development and innovation.

She will work with commissioners, politicians, health and wellbeing boards, private healthcare providers and other organisations to help deliver a seamless pathway of care for people with cancer in England.

‘I am really looking forward to my new role where I will have the opportunity to ensure the patient voice is at the heart of service redesign and to influence and effect a real step change in the way in which care is delivered to the growing number of people living with, and affected by, cancer,’ she said.

A pathway of treatment

Dr Woodard joined Macmillan from King’s Health Partners in London, where she directed its cancer programme. Prior to that, she was director of transformation and organisational development for Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust. Since qualifying as a physio in 1987, she has worked in the NHS, in the US, and for the Department of Health.

Although it is some time since Dr Woodard practised clinically as a physiotherapist, she said her background in the profession had taught her two key things.

First, she said, patients are not treated with a single intervention: rather, they are on a pathway of treatment, and continue to live their lives, whether pre-diagnosis, during treatment or when they receive post-treatment care.

Second, while outcomes are fundamentally important, patients’ experiences are vital too, she added.

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