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SWAG Cancer Alliance | Our 3 Resource Hubs | Guest Post

20 November 2023 - by SWAG Cancer Alliance

The SWAG Cancer Alliance is responsible for working with providers, commissioners, and other partners to improve services and patient experience.  The Alliance covers the 2.4 million people who live in Somerset, Wiltshire, Avon & Gloucestershire. We caught up with the team to find out about the recent projects.

“At the SWAG Cancer Alliance, we wanted to create resources to enable people to be better informed about their health and their cancer diagnosis. This would enable them to understand and engage in activities which could benefit their health during a time of cancer diagnosis and treatment, a time that can bring a considerable strain on a person’s mental and physical health

We also wanted to create central repositories of information for healthcare professional that would enable them to sign-post people to relevant and appropriate content. We envisaged this would support the delivery of prehabilitation and wellbeing services, and that any healthcare professional could access irrespective of their organisation or role.  

The Fatigue Hub

This has been designed to support people throughout their experiences of managing cancer and its impact on day-to-day life. It provides access to resources and tips to manage tiredness and explores how they can manage their available energy levels over time.

Fatigue is one of the most common consequences of having cancer, and managing energy levels is therefore key to the way someone will cope with treatment and day-to-day life. Fatigue can fall into three types all of which are interlinked and impact on each other:

1. Physical

2. Emotional

3. Cognitive (the way you concentrate).

Working with our energy levels and using our energies in the best way possible will help us to feel more in control and have some choice over the way we live our lives.

The Prehabilitation Hub 

This been designed to help people with cancer to be as fit and healthy as possible before they begin their treatment. The hub introduces the concept of prehabilitation and will support them to prepare physically, mentally and emotionally for their cancer journey.

Everyone is different, including their baseline levels of health and fitness. This means at the point of cancer diagnosis some individuals will have a high level of fitness, others a low level and most somewhere in between. For those who feel they’d benefit from this advice, we provide information that can help prepare them across three key areas of health: Wellbeing, Exercise and Nutrition

The Health & Wellbeing Hub

There are so many cancer services and resources out there for people with cancer, carers and healthcare professionals that is difficult to know about all of them. The SWAG Cancer Services and Resources Repository has been created to bring as many of them together as possible to make it easier to find what is available. But this repository also to allows people to search in a personalised and stratified way. It also contains healthcare professional specific resources which include training resources, information and services that need a clinical referral.

The hub may be used by a healthcare professional looking for something to help someone struggling with fatigue who prefers information in a video or podcast format. Or a carer who wants to access psychological support face to face in the Bath area. Or someone who wants to use an app for improving their physical activity. Or a younger person who wants to find peer support groups online. There is no one size fits all for support, so this resource aims to help narrow down the resources and services in a way that is personalised and best fits what the person needs.

To find out more about The Somerset, Wiltshire, Avon & Gloucestershire Cancer Alliance, you can visit our website where you’ll find our three information hubs as well as information about upcoming events.”

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