Dr Dave Hobin is the Clinical Lead for the Cancer Service and Paediatric Palliative Care Service at Birmingham Children’s Hospital. He is currently the Chair of Teenagers and Young Adults with Cancer a position he has held since 2011.

A new era for TYAC

What we as Teenagers and Young Adults with Cancer have achieved in the past eleven months is nothing short of huge. TYAC has secured registered charity status as a charitable incorporated organisation. The leadership of the organisation has also changed with the appointment of TYAC's first director earlier this year.

TYAC as an organisation is relatively young, it has only been around for 12 years but a very progressive 12 years they have been, and we hope the next 12 and the 12 after that will continue to have just as much impact.

The need for TYAC

TYAC exists because it needs to exist. We have all come together as members of TYAC because we recognise the experience and needs of teenagers and young adults with cancer is very different from the experience of older adults or indeed children.

The intrinsic difference is something that is being recognised more and more at all levels, but while many young people struggle to access the best possible care pathways to suit their needs, TYAC has a place and will continue to share guidance, best practice and a place to network for professionals looking to provide the best possible care.

Collective voice

Going forward TYAC needs to harness our collective voice in order to influence national healthcare practices for the benefit of our patients. We need to ensure that patients have access to the highest quality of care and all the support and care structure that is available irrespective of where  they receive  their treatment.

TYA cancer patients need specialist care. Cases of TYA cancer are rare with 2,500 teenagers and young adults being diagnosed each year and many professionals may only see 1 or 2 patients a year, but they should always be ready to offer the best possible care and support.

Diverse membership

TYAC is a specialist organisation and amongst our membership we have some of the very best TYA cancer professionals in their respective fields – medical, nursing, social work, youth work, psychosocial and allied health care. TYAC was ground breaking in bringing together all the multidisciplinary professionals in one organisation.

By sharing this expertise with other key organisations we can harness change and better working practices for ourselves as professionals, but more importantly, improve services and pathways for the teenagers and young adults that go through this process. This has been and will always be about them.