Extra help for patients with cancer

A ground-breaking initiative will provide extra support for cancer patients in Northumberland.

Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust has secured funding from Macmillan Cancer Support to recruit a team of four specially-trained social workers to help people with cancer who are nearing the end of their life.

They will help with health and social care plans, ensure people get timely, joined-up community support, arrange and co-ordinate hospital discharges, and support carers.

The team will also offer ongoing support to family and friends of patients.

Trust Executive Director of Wellbeing and Community Health Services Daljit Lally said: “We are delighted to be working with Macmillan to create this ground-breaking new team.

“People nearing the end of their life can have complex and wide-ranging care and support needs. By helping to co-ordinate access to health and social care in the community in a way that respects that person’s individual choices, the Macmillan social worker can help reduce their anxiety and stress, and ultimately improve their quality of life.

“We have a real commitment to ensuring people have the best possible service, and this includes helping them to have their say in where and how they are cared for.”

The trust delivers hospital and community services in Northumberland and North Tyneside, as well as adult social care services in Northumberland in partnership with the county council.

In addition to the new social workers, Macmillan provides nurses across the county, allied health professionals, benefit advisers, information and support services, and a bereavement service.