New way of providing emotional support to cancer patients piloted in Lanarkshire

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A new way of ensuring cancer patients have access to receive the range of support they need is being piloted in Lanarkshire.

Thanks to a partnership between Macmillan Cancer Support and NHS Lanarkshire, people with cancer now have the opportunity to speak with volunteers about their non-clinical concerns in the waiting rooms at clinics in the Lanarkshire Beatson and University Hospital Monklands in Lanarkshire.

This unique pilot hopes to ensure that anyone affected by cancer is able to access all of the support they need at a time when they need it most. The service is being run by the same team who run Macmillan information and support services in libraries across Lanarkshire.

Craig Tobin, Macmillan Project Manager in Lanarkshire said: “We’re trying to empower patients and their families with knowledge at a time when they are likely to be most anxious. The clinics are dealing with the physical side of treating and living with cancer.

“This partnership enables Macmillan in Lanarkshire to then support with other aspects of a cancer diagnosis; the emotional, practical, financial issues that many people affected by cancer face.”

Launched in late November, volunteers supported people attending the Lung Clinic at University Hospital Monklands and the Herceptin Clinic at the Beatson in Lanarkshire.

The first session proved a huge success with twenty-two people accessing the service and sixteen being referred onto services to help to support them with issues ranging from benefits advise, emotional support and transport concerns to questions about travel insurance and nutrition.

Lynn Mack, Haematology and Cancer Service Manager, NHS Lanarkshire said: “It is our hope that this new service will result in an overall better patient experience. Ensuring the needs of those affected by cancer are met not just clinically but bridging that gap to the social support too.

“The “meet and greet” model in the waiting room of these two clinics in the Monklands and Beatson hospital will ensure vital signposting to services for our patients.”

The service will support the Lung Cancer clinic at NHS Lanarkshire every Monday 9am- 12pm and the Herceptin Clinic at the Beatson Hospital every Friday 9am-12pm.

The service, part of the Macmillan in Lanarkshire service offering can be reached on Tel: 01698 332604. Alternatively, the charity’s support line service is available Monday to Friday, 9am-8pm on 0808 808 00 00.