Healthcare Writing

Colleen Shannon, Freelance Medical Writer


Arthritis and emotions

Feelings Matter: Emotional Wellbeing and Arthritis

Highly commended, 2017 BMA Patient Information Awards

I was the principal copywriter for this comprehensive guide to the emotional impact of arthritis, a long-term condition that can affect every aspect of your life. It was a huge team effort with contributions from clinicians, Arthritis Care staff and people with arthritis. This evidence-based guide takes a holistic view and gives people practical ideas, so they can live they life they want.

Cancer services guide

When a child or young person has cancer, there is suddenly a bewildering new world to navigate. These guides help young people and their families understand what they can expect from NHS cancer services. The parent's guide to children's services was a joint effort by CLIC Sargent and NHS England. The Teenage Cancer Trust was another partner in this version for teenagers and young adults.

Palliative care

Along with other writers, I was proud to contribute to the relaunch of Marie Curie's website, as part of a great editorial team. This section is one example of my work on the project, which was highly commended in the 2016 BMA Patient Information Awards. I was also a principal writer for their new Palliative Care Information Zone for health and social care professionals.

Respiratory medicine

As a key part of their Breathe Easy Week, the British Lung Foundation asked me to update their patient and carer guide on asbestos and cancer (mesothelioma). The work included research into policy across the four nations. I also updated BLF's patient information on interstitial lung diseases (commended in the 2014 BMA Patient Information Awards) and pulmonary embolism. All projects were required to meet the Information Standard.

Young people and cancer

This guide from Clic Sargent gives the basics about cancer, treatment and its side effects, for young people aged 16 to 24. It was extensively updated with the invaluable help of cancer experts, and teenagers and young adults who have experienced cancer themselves. I also researched and co-authored Clic Sargent's website information on relationships and sex (highly commended in the BMA Patient Information Awards 2016), and cancer and fertility. All of this work conforms with the NHS England Information Standard for user involvement, referencing and peer review.