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Recognition for survivorship support
16 July 2017

A pioneering programme run by our hospital to provide holistic care and support to people living with and beyond cancer has been shortlisted for a national award.

The Ipswich Survivorship Project beat off competition from across the country to become one of just eight initiatives shortlisted in the integration category in the Macmillan Excellence Awards 2017.

The project launched in 2015 and builds on previous work to embed survivorship and recovery firmly in the patient pathway and ensure access to individualised care and support to help people live well throughout their treatment and beyond.

It has seen a variety of initiatives have been introduced in partnership with primary care, charities, social services, Suffolk Sport and cancer user groups and a range of other organisations. They include:

  • Holding information sessions where new patients can visit the hospital, meet the staff who will be treating them, learn about the support which is available and ask any questions they may have
  • Carrying out holistic needs assessments to help hospital staff develop a care plan to make sure each patient’s individual needs are met
  • Providing treatment summaries giving information about managing side effects and where to go for further help
  • Offering education programmes, financial support and benefits advice
  • Providing a range of activities to help people regain their physical strength after treatment, such as specialist exercises for breast cancer patients, prostate workshops and swimming groups
  • Arranging support groups for patients and their families

The team has also provided additional training for 40 nurses working in GP practices to improve communication and care coordination and give them the necessary skills to carry out cancer care reviews and signpost patients to any further sources of support.

Louise Smith, Macmillan survivorship lead at the hospital, said: “We developed the programme to help patients and their families at what can be a frightening and confusing time. It is designed to give them timely access to care, support and information, as well as practical help at a time that is right for them.

“We are really pleased that we have been shortlisted and the work we are doing in Ipswich has been recognised on the national stage.”

The winner will be announced at a ceremony in London in November.

For more information about the survivorship project, contact the Jon Le Vay Cancer Support and Information Centre on 01473 715748.