A programme to improve the experiences of people who have been diagnosed with cancer in Powys is to be developed, thanks to funding from Macmillan Cancer Support.
Funding has been provided by the charity to co-ordinate the Improving the Cancer Journey programme in Powys, which aims to develop a multi-agency approach to cancer care and improve the quality of lives of people affected by cancer in Powys. The programme is a partnership between Macmillan, Powys County Council and Powys Teaching Health Board and is the first of its kind in Wales. The main focus of the programme is to work with people affected by cancer and local organisations to understand the challenges they face and build on local support services and networks.
Cerys Humphreys, (pictured) the Improving the Cancer Journey Programme Lead in Powys, explained, “All partners in this programme agree that we want people affected by cancer to receive personalised and timely support for the things they tell us they most need. We want people who are diagnosed with cancer in Powys to feel listened to, supported and that their concerns and needs are identified.”
The programme centres on supporting individual needs with the aim of acknowledging not only physical but also the social and emotional needs of those affected by cancer.
“If someone has a diagnosis of cancer then they often have to deal with a number of different worries – not just their physical health but they may also have emotional, family, spiritual, practical and financial concerns, too,” explained Cerys.
“A similar programme in Glasgow found that the main worry for people diagnosed with cancer was housing and anxiety about how their diagnosis could affect their financial situation and their (and potentially their family’s) home,” she added. The programme in Glasgow has given people who are diagnosed with cancer the opportunity to go through their needs and concerns. They’re given comprehensive access to support and information needed to both self manage and improve their quality of life. “We aim to develop a programme in the county which does just that, within the complex context of cancer care in Powys.”
Each year, within Powys just under 1,000 people are diagnosed with cancer. The programme will look to set up a sustainable model where there is a greater focus on recovery, health and wellbeing after cancer treatment, with a shift towards holistic assessment, information provision and personalised care planning.
Cerys added, “Integrating the model with the wider health and social care services will be crucial to the success of this project and will form a key part of the project plan. One of the key components of a future model will be close working with partners across both public, private and third sectors.”
Richard Pugh, Head of Partnerships for Macmillan Cancer Support in Wales, said: “Macmillan is thrilled to be giving more than £572,000 to fund this innovative new programme in partnership with Powys County Council and Powys health board to support better care for people with cancer in Powys.
“Funded thanks to our supporters’ donations, we hope Improving the Cancer Journey will enhance cancer care for people living with cancer in Powys and support them to access the help and services they need in their community.
“A cancer diagnosis can turn someone’s life upside down in a single moment and we hope Improving the Cancer Journey will help people to manage cancer’s impact on their life and get the right support.”
For information, support, or just a chat call Macmillan free on 0808 808 0000.