Frequently asked questions
To help answer any questions you may have about joining PCAG, the Patient and Carer Advisory Group have written the following FAQs based on questions they had before they joined.
Do I need to have any specific experience to be able to join the Patient and Carer Advisory Group (PCAG)?
No, you do not need any specific experience to join PCAG. Whether you are a patient, a carer or a member of the public, the most important thing is your desire to improve the experience of patients and their carers at The Royal Marsden.
We welcome people from a diverse range of backgrounds and the value these differences bring.
I have never been a member of a group or committee before, does that matter?
No, this does not matter in the slightest. Many of our members come with no experience of groups and committees.
We are a small and friendly group of people that will do our best to make you feel welcome and explain the different ways you can contribute.
We can introduce you to a ‘Buddy’ who will help you settle into the group if you would find this helpful. We also run introductory sessions to help you understand more about what PCAG does and how it works.
I'm not confident speaking up in meetings, particularly in a group of strangers, how else can I get involved?
We welcome any contribution you make. If you are not comfortable speaking at meetings, you can always share your thoughts and ideas through another group member, or the PCAG Secretary, and they will speak on your behalf.
There are always a number of projects and committees that our members get involved in and many of them do not need you to stand up and speak to a group of strangers.
What’s important is that you feel comfortable about your involvement.
How often are PCAG meetings and where are they held?
Our group meets every two months for a two-hour meeting either at The Royal Marsden’s Sutton or Chelsea site. Video conferencing is normally available so that you can go to whichever site is closest to you. We vary the meeting times to allow more flexibility for those members that work.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, we still meet every two months in an online meeting split into two one-hour meetings.
Do I have to attend every PCAG meeting?
We appreciate everyone has other commitments, so we are happy for any time you can contribute. There is no minimum level of involvement.
You will be sent the meeting agenda in advance to give you time to make arrangements if you feel it is particularly important for you to attend. If you are unable to make a meeting, you can still have your say by emailing or telephoning the Group Chair, your ‘Buddy’ or the PCAG Secretary who will speak on your behalf.
You will also be sent the meeting notes so that you can catch up on what the group is focused on.
Being a member of PCAG is not just about attending meetings. We get involved in many projects, some of which may fit into your schedule more easily.
What do I have to do to join the Patient and Carer Advisory Group?
The first step is to let us know you are interested. Our ‘Join PCAG’ page explains the different ways you can contact us to do this.