Hertfordshire &


Bedfordshire


We are part of the Keeping Abreast support

network in Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire.

We are here for you.

Hertfordshire &


Bedfordshire


We are part of the Keeping Abreast support

network in Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire.

We are here for you.

Local Groups

Herts & Beds

About our group:

Please come and join us at one of our informal meetings about breast reconstruction with an opportunity to meet other women facing similar issues.

We are looking for patient representatives within the Lister Hospital & Bedford area to offer help and support to women contemplating or undergoing breast reconstruction.

It is a relaxed atmosphere with answers to questions based on real experience from ladies who have recently dealt with related subjects. Sharing experiences can be helpful, especially when others understand perfectly what you are going through.

“Why I’m proud of our group” – KA Volunteer, Sarah-Jane

“Why I’m proud to be part of our local Keeping Abreast group and why my heart will always remain with the NHS.

Earlier this week, I shared an article that was published in The Mail newspaper about women still being denied breast reconstruction. For some of my friends, I knew this would be an interesting read.

My understanding and experience of surgical options is that women or men should be well informed of all their options available to them so that they, the patient, can make the decision to do what they feel is right for them personally. They make the decision at the end of the day under the advice of their medical team. I was assured that every patient facing mastectomy at Bedford NHS hospital was offered breast reconstruction and, if there was a medical reason as to why this couldn’t be performed at the time of the mastectomy, the patient was fully briefed as to why it couldn’t happen and what options would be available at a later date. Ensuring the patient fully understood to eradicate all sorts of worry that they may be feeling. Also remembering that surgery types are a personal choice.

Being part of a support group that helps to make ladies (we haven’t had any men attend our group as yet) make these decisions is so rewarding for all of us involved and is something positive to come out of something so awful. 
We were able to steer a lady in the right direction this week. Someone who wasn’t actually receiving treatment on the NHS, someone who met their consultant, was not offered breast reconstruction, but instead given a date to have a mastectomy, allegedly with very little guidance. It saddens me when this happens. I hope lots of you know more about the breast cancer journey than even I did when I was diagnosed. I know that I had certainly never heard about breast reconstruction.

Our meetings take place in the Outpatients Department at Lister Hospital. A department that is now frequently experiencing extra clinics, where consultants are having to work those extra hours to meet demands of what is deemed as a failing system to clear a backlog of patients. This week our clinic nurse couldn’t join us until after 8.30pm when the on-duty consultant finished their last dictation. She was met with a barrage of questions. A barrage of questions that she went with to the tired consultant (now off-duty) who, needless to say, was only too happy to try and answer before he left to go home.

We advised her to see someone else and get a second opinion and directed them to someone in particular. To cut a very long story short, we were so pleased to hear that a second opinion was had and she is now booked in to have the surgery she wanted with reconstruction!!!

Had our group not been available, I dread to think of the emotional turmoil she could be facing now. Well done KA.

Where we meet:

Outpatients Department, Ward11B South
Lister Hospital
Coreys Mill Lane
Stevenage
Hertfordshire
SG1 4AB

All meetings start at 7pm (unless stated)

2021 Dates

***CANCELLED!!*** Because of the Coronavirus (Covid-19) situation, these Support Group meetings cannot currently take place in person. However, the KA Herts & Beds Support Group is still happy to help those with breast reconstruction concerns and you can follow them on Facebook at: Keeping Abreast – Hertfordshire & Bedfordshire – to find out about virtual Support Group meetings and more.

Get in touch:

For further information, please contact the group via the Keeping Abreast Head Office on
01603 819113 or via email at: info@keepingabreast.org.uk

Patient Representative:

Jocelyn Ruperalia
Email: jocelynr@hotmail.co.uk

Don’t forget, to keep up-to-date with what we are doing, including our upcoming support groups, you can follow the Keeping Abreast Herts & Beds Group on Facebook here.

To follow the Keeping Abreast charity page visit: www.facebook.com/keepingabreastbreastreconstruction

Want to help?

As a group we are on the look-out for a number of volunteers to join us to help run the group so we can offer support to more women considering and undergoing breast reconstruction.  Ideally, we are looking for some previous reconstruction patients who would be willing to talk to others about their journey, and also some individuals to help with the administrative side of things.  If you might be interested, please contact the Keeping Abreast Head Office on the numbers above.

Alternatively you can send us a message via our Volunteers Page here

Nick of Time:

As well as supporting women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer and looking to have an immediate or delayed reconstruction, Keeping Abreast also supports those women looking to have elective reconstruction surgery due the discovery of a breast cancer gene. This support is provided by our sister group ‘Nick of Time’. It is likely that there will be elective surgery patients at your local group, but if you would like specific information or further details please contact Nick of Time.

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