NHS Forth Valley first to pilot new service

Published: 22 Jul 2013 13:000 comments

NHS Forth Valley will be the first NHS Board in Scotland to pilot a new service of one-to-one support to cancer patients following treatment, writes Gordon Watson.

The service is one of 16 projects being trialled by Macmillan Cancer Support across the UK within the Transforming Care after Treatment Initiative.

The One-to-One Support Service provided by Macmillan Community Care Nurses and Healthcare Support Workers recruited to provide an ongoing point of contact between hospital services to help patients, and those close to them, live with and beyond a diagnosis of cancer.

Two million people in the UK live with and beyond cancer with this figure likely to grow by over 3 per cent every year, resulting from advancements in cancer treatments.

This is not representative of at least a quarter of survivors who have unmet needs following recovery.

Elspeth Atkinson, director of Macmillan Cancer Support, said, "While many cancer patients receive excellent care and are well supported during treatment, many feel that the after effects of treatment can make it difficult to return to a normal life and both patients and their families need more information and advice to help them prepare for life post treatment.

"The pilot in Forth Valley will provide access to a team of cancer specialists along with a follow up team who will deal with patients individually to discuss their concerns and help deal with financial, emotional health concerns they may have."

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