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Cancer care changes give intensive multi-faceted support to patients in West Suffolk

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Cancer patients are to be given a new support network as they overcome their illness and deal with life afterwards.

Macmillan is working alongside the West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (WSFT) to assess and help resolve patient issues outside of their medical needs through a new cancer care navigator service.

The service will be accessible in West Suffolk Hospital and GP surgeries in the region, and will begin with a discussion between patient and doctor.

Macmillan's new team is already helping patients in West Suffolk
Macmillan's new team is already helping patients in West Suffolk

Patients are encouraged to open up about any worries they have going on in their life, before then being put in contact with the correct services to optimally help them deal with those issues.

Practical information and support about the patient’s cancer treatment will remain constant, but with added support for issues like money worries, stress, anxiety and a roadmap to alleviating those issues.

The new service will be trialled for two years, with a team of five trained navigators already working with patients.

Helen Ayers, Macmillan navigator at WSFT, said: “It’s so rewarding to make that first phone call to a patient who wants support. I love being able to give them my time to listen, understand and identify any areas where we can assist them.”

Patients over 18 can self refer, but referrals can also be made via your GP.

East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust will be introducing navigator teams over the coming months.