New virtual health and wellbeing support for patients in Surrey and Sussex | Guest Post
20 July 2020 - by David Allen
Due to COVID-19, people living with cancer have struggled to access face-to-face health and wellbeing support. The Surrey and Sussex Cancer Alliance has created a resource pack to enable professionals to signpost patients to new resources and live online health and wellbeing support in the area and developed guidance giving top tips for how to run online sessions for patients.
Health and wellbeing information is important for people who have been diagnosed with cancer, are being treated for cancer and are living with cancer to self-manage giving them a greater sense of control and to feel more confident. The information provided makes sure patients are better educated on the signs and symptoms of their cancer and the consequences of their treatment as well as informing them of where they can access further support if they need it.
“I needed to regain any bit of control which was within my gift. Health and Wellbeing is a crucial part of the cancer experience.” Julie
“It was wonderful to be encouraged to write and in particular I have been writing poetry, it has helped me relax.” Peter
“Makes such a difference to still be able to see familiar faces and be able to talk about my worries.” Jill
Across Surrey and Sussex hospitals, information and support centres and voluntary organisations have had to change how they provide this service to patients and have made use of telephone calls, video conferencing and videos. Here is a snapshot; contact the organisations directly for more details.
The East Surrey Macmillan Cancer Support Centre is at East Surrey Hospital in Redhill. The centre offers a wide range of information and support services in one place for patients and their carers. They have moved their art therapy, counselling, yoga, relaxation, Reiki and many more services online. Patients have been enjoying one –to-one and group sessions as well as offering a Listening Ear to patients just needing a chat.
The Fountain Centre is located within the Royal Surrey County Hospital offering care and support for the physical, emotional, social and spiritual needs of those affected by cancer in Surrey and the surrounding areas. Patients used to visiting the centre have been kept up-to-date with regular videos and podcasts and have been able to access coaching, exercise sessions, Accupressure, counselling and general information and support via telephone and Zoom.
The Macmillan Horizon Centre in Brighton offers support for local people facing the toughest fight of their lives. The centre has created Horizon Connect that enables patients to join a daily group support session. Patients are able to access yoga, pilates, breathing workshops and cookery sessions online using Microsoft Teams and the team are offering counselling, welfare benefits advice and information support via the telephone.
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