Cancer Support Services
We know that a diagnosis of cancer can be quite a shock. If you have recently received a diagnosis, are undergoing treatment for cancer, or if you are living after cancer treatment, you do not have to face it alone.
Here at the Trust we can offer you the personalised care and support you need to help you through your journey and we work with the charities Macmillan and the West Midlands Cancer Alliance to deliver this.
Care whilst having treatment
There are ways in which we do this. They include the following:
- A personalised care and support plan which looks at helping to work out what people’s physical, practical, emotional and social needs are at the earliest opportunity.
- When you come to the end of your treatment, the patient and their GP will receive a summary of the treatment completed, potential side effects, signs and symptoms of recurrence and contact details to address any concerns.
- A primary care cancer care review will take place which is a discussion between the person and their GP/primary care nurse about their cancer journey. This helps the person to discuss any concerns, and, if appropriate, to be referred to services or signposted to information and support that is available in their community and from charities.
- We’ll also provide health and wellbeing information and support where we let you know how to access emotional support, cope with side effects, where to receive financial advice, getting back to work and making healthy lifestyle choices. This support will be available before, during and after cancer treatment.
Managing self-care after treatment
We will share information about the following:
- Signs and symptoms to look out for which could suggest the cancer may have returned.
- How patients can get in contact with their cancer team for advice and support on symptoms and side-effects of treatment.
- Information on regular scans or tests (depending on cancer type), with quicker and easier access to results so that any anxiety is kept to a minimum.
- Information on how to improve health and wellbeing in the long-term
Macmillan Cancer Information and Support Service
We offer free confidential support and advice from highly trained staff and volunteers for patients, their loved ones or carers. Some of the volunteers have personal experience of living with cancer.
We can also put you in touch with counselling services and refer you to other professional or voluntary organisations where appropriate including Psychological Support Services or Therapy Services. We are able to offer emotional support and practical help to anyone who has cancer, their relatives, friends and carers, in a relaxed and confidential environment.
Where to find help?
Volunteers are based at the Courtyard Centre, at Sandwell Hospital’s main reception area, Monday to Thursday between 10am-2pm.
Macmillan Welfare Benefits Case workers are based at the Courtyard Centre on Wednesday and at City Hospital site on a Friday.
To make an appointment call the Macmillan Benefits Caseworker on 01902 932142.
The Macmillan Support Line is also available for you if you require general information about cancer, emotional or financial support. It’s open seven days a week from 8am-8pm on 0808 8080000. Please note that the Macmillan Support Line team do not have access to medical records. The Macmillan website, macmillan.org.uk, also has information about cancer and details of the offer of support available.
Cancer Clinical Nurse Specialists
Cancer clinical nurse specialists (CNS) can help you understand your cancer diagnosis and treatment. They can offer support to you, and the people close to you. They are registered nurses with skills and experience in caring for people with cancer. These specialist nurses work in different areas of cancer care and treatment. They can help with information about your cancer diagnosis, treatment, and help manage side effects. They offer emotional and practical support. They can also tell you about other support available. This may include information about social care, benefits advice, and local support groups.
A CNS who specialises in the type of cancer you have is usually your main contact at your local hospital. They can be called your key worker, they usually co-ordinate your care.
You are usually referred to a CNS when you are first going for tests for cancer, or have just been diagnosed with cancer. They will give you a telephone number so you can contact them. But there may not always be a CNS for your type of cancer. You can ask your doctor if there is a nurse specialist you can talk to.
Look Good Feel Better (LGFB) Charity
As a cancer charity, the main objective of Look Good Feel Better is to help women and men undergoing cancer treatment to regain their self-confidence and self-esteem at a very difficult time in their lives. They aim to help people diagnosed with cancer to literally look good…and feel better.
The team organise two-hour skincare and make-up workshops every week, fortnight or month, depending on hospital requirements in each area. Held virtually or face to face each workshop is run by three volunteer LGFB trained beauticians, many of whom work for major cosmetic companies based in department stores close to where the workshops take place.
To book onto the Makeup sessions patients can speak to their Cancer Care Navigator. Or alternatively register online at A leading cancer support charity – Look Good Feel Better : Look Good Feel Better. All other courses will need to be booked online online using the link.
MySunrise is an app which can be downloaded onto your smartphone, offering free information about the services offered here at the Trust. MySunrise provides up-to-date information for cancer patients and their families every step of the way through their treatment, helping to ease anxiety and give back some control. It provides useful telephone numbers, treatment information, symptom control and general cancer advise at your fingertips. Ask your cancer care navigator or clinical nurse specialist for more information/help to download this on your mobile phone, laptop or iPad.
Wig fitting services
We work in partnership with local businesses who provide the fitting of wigs and hairpieces and offer advice and support to patients who may be experiencing hair loss as a result of treatment for any type of cancer.
Headways Hair Loss Advisory and Support Service is a confidential, free service run by specially trained volunteers for those suffering hair loss as a result of treatment for any type of cancer (not just breast cancer). Volunteers deliver appointments in pairs and will offer practical information and support around hair loss due to cancer treatment, on an individual appointment basis. Headways appointments take place on Wednesday afternoons at the Courtyard Centre, and last up to an hour.