I learned from the latest HSCNews Bulletin that Eight German patient organisations that specialise in cancers of various types have decided upon a new way to work together. Realising that really effective networking demands quite a lot of contact they have now offices in the same building in Bonn creating a House of Cancer Self-Help. This way they can “encouraging each other in work; coming together for the preservation and improvement of the quality of medical and psycho-social care; developing common approaches to common concerns (and to representing them jointly in public); and working together to strengthen the ability of patients to self-manage their conditions.” The House of Cancer Self-Help will also run four patient conferences a year in Germany and will work to ensure “that the patients who are attending the conferences have sufficient time to question the expert speakers”. More information can be found here.
It is a winning concept – in Sweden a lot of the patient associations share a couple of corridors in the same building in Stockholm where also the main umbrella association have its head quarter. I would guess that over the year this have meant quite a lot with regards to information exchange and knowledge building for example for the smaller organizations with maybe only one person working for them.
Social networking seems to still need to be also taking place in real life or as some now say: outside of keyboard. Even if new media certainly enables and helps!