A new £625,000 Cancer Wellbeing and Support Centre where patients and their families can receive support and information following a cancer diagnosis, has opened at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital King’s Lynn (QEH).
The state-of-the-art facility is a welcoming space for patients to access non-clinical services at QEH with a specific focus on supporting the long-term impact of cancer. The Centre has been funded by QEH’s Charitable Fund.
The services, which are provided by the Macmillan Information and Support Service, include general health and wellbeing advice, access to financial support, and to patient support groups, courses and events, such as the Macmillan Help to Overcome Problems Effectively (HOPE) course, within a safe and confidential environment.
Previously, many of these vital programmes took place in general spaces away from the Trust, which often meant patients and their families travelling considerable distances to access them. The new dedicated Cancer Wellbeing and Support Centre enables patients to receive this support locally and on-site at the hospital, reducing the need for travel.
From Monday 17 May, patients are encouraged to drop-in for a cup of tea and a chat, giving them the opportunity to speak openly about their cancer experience with others. The new Centre will also enable the Trust to expand its current services to include counselling and alternative therapies such as reflexology.
Caroline Shaw CBE, Chief Executive at QEH, said: “I’m really pleased that we have been able to open this vital new facility at QEH which has enabled us to expand and strengthen access to our Cancer Services. It is important that our patients not only receive the highest standard of clinical care, but that we are able to support them with the psychological and emotional impact that cancer has on everyday life.”
Vicky Mitchell, Macmillan Information & Support Manager at QEH, said: “I am so proud of all my colleagues at QEH who have done their utmost to make this new Centre happen, even with the added pressure of the COVID-19 pandemic. If anything, the health crisis has only served to underline why a cancer support service of this size and scope is needed so urgently, as people living with cancer have struggled to manage their health and wellbeing alone, and come up against more financial and practical challenges as the pandemic has continued. A huge thanks to all the patients who have supported this development and have been involved in the design. Working with specialist teams from across the Trust and partner organisations, the aim of the Centre is to provide personalised and holistic care to help patients following a cancer diagnosis. If you are a current patient or previous patient with unmet support needs, please contact us, this Centre is for you.”
Peter Tasker, Chairman of the QEH Cancer Services User Group, said: “The facilities provided at this new Centre will offer opportunities to address a wide range of ongoing issues be they psychological, emotional, practical and those helping general rehabilitation. The Centre will enhance quality of life and health in a friendly and relaxed setting. As a group, we are delighted this project has come to fruition – it will mean so much to so many people.”
Services will initially be subject to restrictions in place as a result of COVID-19. To find out more about the Centre and its opening times, visit qehkl.nhs.uk.
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