Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has welcomed a new member of its cancer support team.
Helen Bright, Macmillan Cancer Information and Support Manager, is overseeing a range of services and advice from her base in the Windmill Unit and Blackpool Victoria Hospital.
She said: “Our services are about supporting anyone affected by cancer.
“We can give the latest information about all sorts of issues like benefits and counselling. No appointment is required and we are here when people need us without a complicated referral system.”
Helen started her nursing career in the mid 1990s. Her last role was as Clinical Nurse Specialist in the Urology department so she has a vast knowledge of supporting patients with cancer.
She said: “The cancer support team based at the Windmill Unit have various roles such as promoting prevention awareness in GP surgeries and supporting various groups for anyone affected by cancer.”
There are many support groups that offer tumour specific support but there are also more general groups such as gardening and walking clubs. These offer not just support, but a chance to get out and do something different.
Helen continued: “The groups are not about getting together to just talk about cancer. It’s about meeting others in a similar situation who understand the journey and about doing something positive. The groups are also open to carers and families that are supporting the person through their diagnosis.”
In addition to the groups, there is a Patient Cancer Care Improvement group who act as a patient voice to raise ideas around cancer care.
Helen added: “I am very passionate about my new role and have plans to introduce some new services and well as welcome some new staff. It’s wonderful to be able to offer a listening ear and to be able to signpost patients and their families to the support they need.”
There are many events and services available to those affected by cancer such as Look Good, Feel Great courses and complementary therapies.
For further information, the Windmill Unit is open Monday-Friday, 9.30am until 4.00pm – no appointment is necessary.
There is a post box in the unit where written messages can be left and an answerphone service outside of the opening hours. Phone calls will be returned. Call 01253 955710.