West Cumbria Community Cancer Service urges people to access lifesaving support on their doorstep :: North Cumbria Integrated Care

A pioneering West Cumbria community nursing project is underway and urges anyone affected by cancer to reach out and receive the life-saving care and support available to them.

The Macmillan Community Cancer Nursing Service (MCCN) – one of the first of its kind in the country – is being piloted in west Cumbria, where cancer prevalence is higher.

Launched last year, in partnership with national charity Macmillan Cancer Support and local West Cumbria NHS, the service is aimed at all cancer patients, their families and carers.

It was set up to provide holistic care and support people living with cancer in the community with tailored care, support and advice with a focus on the psychological and physical impact of cancer.

And now the specialist team of cancer matrons, nurses and wellness coaches encourage anyone treated or living with cancer to contact the service and self-refer – and receive the most personalized care. available in their community.

Kerry Hawke, Chief Cancer Nurse at Macmillan, leads the team and also leads and supports cancer strategy across North Cumbria.

Kerry, who has been a nurse for 19 years, including on cancer teams in the UK and Australia, said: ‘We are a team of oncology nurses and cancer wellness coaches who want to empower all cancer patients across West Cumbria, and their families and carers, to find the best path and live as fully as possible.

“We want to put the patient at the heart of everything we do. We will be there from the moment of diagnosis and will work closely with other health and care professionals to provide personalized, responsive and seamless care in the community. We embody Macmillan’s belief that no one should face cancer alone.

The service is provided across West Cumbria, through home visits, by telephone and virtually, as well as locations in Copeland, Keswick and Solway, Maryport and Cockermouth and Workington.

Among the services that the team of specialists can offer are:

  • Support and advice on the physical, psychological and social impact of cancer
  • Assistance with management of PICC/Hickman lines, Portacaths, drains or stomas
  • Blood tests before chemotherapy or immunotherapy
  • Holistic needs assessments to help develop a personalized care plan
  • Assessment of health needs in case of discomfort due to side effects of cancer treatments

Tina Thompson, Macmillan’s Partnerships Manager for North Cumbria, who helped develop the pilot, added: “We have engaged with the local community and potential service users, and have worked closely with our partners. from the NHS and our healthcare experts to help develop this unique service, which aims to have a positive impact and improve the overall patient experience.

“However, since the pandemic, it has become even more vital that people with cancer receive the personalized support they need and that is unique to them and the MCCN team urges anyone affected by cancer to contact them and ask for the support that is available to them right now.

A mum from West Cumbria, diagnosed two years ago with a rare form of cancer, who does not want to be named, has backed the service and the support it provides locally. She says, “It’s reassuring to have this service and support network on our doorstep. Anything that helps people with cancer in areas like West Cumbria and is delivered to the heart of the local community, which can help improve their experience and potentially their outcomes, can only be a good thing and will do a huge difference for so many people. people’s life.”

Contact the service, Monday to Friday (8.30am to 4.30pm, including public holidays), on 01228 936118 or email [email protected]

Alternatively, for more information visit: https://www.ncic.nhs.uk/services/macmillan-community-cancer

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