Norfolk and Waveney cancer charity, Big C, has launched a new service in partnership with the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) for those people who have finished their cancer treatment and are moving on from regular follow up.
The Supported Self-Management Programme will help those in our community affected by cancer at what can be a particularly vulnerable time in their cancer journey.
Sam Glee, Senior Cancer Information Clinical Nurse Specialist at Big C, explains, “At Big C we know that the period when treatment ends can be a very lonely place for someone who has had cancer. The routine of treatment and contact with medical staff changes and people often feel guilty that they do not feel elated with the news there is no longer evidence of cancer in their body. Instead they often feel anxious about the future, worried about longer term side effects, and how to recognise if the cancer has come back.. The Supported Self-Management Programme is designed to ease the transition into support from Big C, by offering a direct referral pathway into our services.”
Jo Richardson, Macmillan Lead Cancer Nurse, at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital said “Patients are now attending their follow up appointment with their NNUH Consultant followed by a new ‘Moving Forward’ clinic appointment with their Clinical Nurse Specialist who discusses potential late effects of treatment, possible signs and symptoms to watch for and how to re-enter the Hospital for advice and review . Patients are then referred to the Big C andeach patient will receive a consultation with one of Big C’s specialist nurses, so that tailored support and help to find a ‘new normal’ can be provided. Support will be focused on seven main areas: dealing with finances, psychological support, body image and prosthesis, managing fatigue, keeping active, diet and nutrition and returning to work Also, patients can attend their chosen workshops at venues across Norfolk making services more accessible to them”
Some of the support Big C offers includes signposting for wellbeing, addressing concerns of signs and symptoms, support groups, ‘Healthy Matters’ sessions run by a dietician, occupational therapist and physiotherapist from the hospital, offering dietary advice and tips to help with managing fatigue and stress. Counselling and complementary therapies are also provided which can help with longer term side effects such as fatigue, stress and anxiety. Follow up appointments will also be arranged.
The new service has been launched with breast cancer patients initially at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH), but the service will be rolled out across all cancer types and across other Norfolk hospitals.
Alternatively anyone affected by cancer, whether that be someone with a diagnosis, or family member or loved one, can access Big C’s wide ranging support services by contact the Big C centres at the NNUH, Kings Lynn, Great Yarmouth, or hub at the Louise Hamilton Centre in Gorleston, or by calling the telephone helpline on 0800 092 7640 please visit big-c.co.uk/support for more information and contact details.