Home   Sudbury   News   Article

Macmillan expands face-to-face support clinics to Sudbury and Glemsford for cancer patients following discharge from hospital




Specialist clinics to support cancer patients following their discharge from hospital have been set up in the Sudbury area, with plans to further expand the service in the future.

Macmillan Cancer Support’s West Suffolk Cancer Care Navigators have begun operating a monthly face-to-face service at six GP surgeries in the county, including in Sudbury and Glemsford.

Introduced following the easing of Covid-19 restrictions, the clinics are intended to close the gap in support for people living with the medical, financial and emotional effects of cancer, but who are no longer under the supervision of a hospital oncology team.

Macmillan cancer care navigators Helen Ayers and J-P Holt, pictured outside The Macmillan Unit where they are based. Contributed photo. (50777846)
Macmillan cancer care navigators Helen Ayers and J-P Holt, pictured outside The Macmillan Unit where they are based. Contributed photo. (50777846)

Participating GP surgeries are able to make referrals on behalf of patients, and the cancer support team confirmed it hopes to visit additional towns and villages in Suffolk, as the service grows.

J-P Holt, a member of the Macmillan Cancer Care Navigators team, said: “We’ve spent a lot of time on the phone supporting patients during the pandemic.

“It’s good to be able to complement that now with face-to-face support, delivered closer to home for those who are still dealing with the emotional, practical and financial fallout of a cancer diagnosis.

“It’s a chance for people to sit down with us and talk in confidence about how cancer is affecting their relationships, their general health, their finances and their outlook on life, so that we can begin to address these issues and put the relevant support in place.

“Even if their problems appear small at first, they can easily become overwhelming if left unmanaged, and that’s why timely intervention on our part is so crucial.

“A critical point for a vulnerable cancer patient is when they leave the care of the hospital medical team and are released back into the community, where their only point of contact for any subsequent concerns or issues is usually the GP.

“Having us to guide them and address their concerns reduces the likelihood they will fall through the gaps on being discharged, and land up back in hospital or unable to support themselves.”

The next clinics will take place at Hardwicke House Surgery in Sudbury this Thursday, then on October 7, from 9.30am to 3.30pm, and at Glemsford Surgery this Friday, then on October 1, from 9.30am to 1pm.

Read more: All the latest news from Suffolk

Read more: All the latest news from Sudbury