Local people have the chance to have their say on how all cancer patients could benefit from exciting plans to improve the holistic service at The James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough.
For ten years patients under the care of a specialist cancer consultant (oncologist) have been benefiting from therapies, ranging from aromatherapy to acupuncture, provided to support people through their conventional cancer treatment.
Now as the service based in the holistic cancer care centre on the hospital site prepares to celebrate its tenth anniversary, South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is inviting local people to an open afternoon at the centre to seek their views on plans to re-vamp the service.
Deborah Jenkins, trust chairman, said: “In the past we have had to limit the service to those patients under the care of an oncologist. But we know that there are many more people who come to our regional cancer centre for treatment who are cared for by other staff, and so they don’t currently benefit from the holistic service.”
“We want all patients with cancer to get the same high level of care and believe that holistic therapies and support have an important role to play in helping them through their conventional cancer treatment.”
Using best practice from other parts of the country, plans have already been worked up to offer all patients with cancer who need to stay in hospital for treatment, a bedside hand, foot or head massage.
Now the trust is looking at the range of support the centre could offer to outpatients, whether that’s benefiting from a range of therapies or help with emotional and social problems.
As part of scoping outpatient services patients, carers, staff, volunteers, therapists, supporters – in fact anyone with an interest in cancer or holistic therapies – are invited to call into the open afternoon at the centre on Wednesday, July 17 from 1-5pm to give their views on what the service could offer in the future, as well as how the centre could be revamped to provide an even better environment.
Ms Jenkins explains: “The centre is a lovely building and we want to encourage its greater use as a place to promote and enhance the wellbeing of patients, carers and staff alike, and we hope that local people will help us by sharing their ideas and views.”
The service is partially funded by charitable donations and Ms Jenkins, who also chairs South Tees Hospitals Charity, said: “The people of Teesside have been incredibly generous to the service over the last ten years, both in terms of raising money and also volunteering, and I hope that they will continue to support it as we work towards offering this valuable service to more people with cancer.”