Published on Wednesday 01 February 2017
Wirral University Teaching Hospital diagnosed around 2,500 patients with cancer last year and is calling on people to raise awareness on World Cancer Day.
Saturday, 4th February is World Cancer Day, which is a global event to reunite people in the fight against cancer and staff are Wirral University Teaching Hospital are encouraging people to talk about the issue.
In Wirral around one in four deaths are caused by cancer and it is also estimated that over 11,500 people in Wirral are living with or have survived cancer.
Cancer services at Wirral University Teaching Hospital are working hard to support people at all stages of the cancer journey. Waiting for tests and diagnosis can be a stressful time for patients and last year the Trust introduced new initiatives to reduce the time it can take for diagnosis in some Colorectal, Lung and Upper Gastro-intestinal services.
There are currently over 27 Cancer Clinical Nurse Specialists working across 11 specialties within the organisation. Over the past 12 months all the Cancer Nurse Specialists have been adopted by Macmillan Cancer Support resulting in a more cohesive team.
This year the aim is to ensure all cancer patients are offered a Holistic Needs Assessment to identify their key concerns and to best support their individual needs. The Trust will also be implementing End of Treatment summaries, which provide GPs with essential information required to support patients at home. It will also be working with partners to develop opportunities to encourage patients to engage in physical activity as part of their ongoing treatment.
More than four in ten people say it is the emotional effects of cancer that are the most difficult to cope with. The Macmillan Cancer Information and Support Centre at Arrowe Park Hospital offers a free, confidential drop in service for anyone affected by cancer, as well as practical and emotional support for patients, families, carers or staff. In 2016 almost 1,000 people contacted the service, including patients, carers, family members as well as health and social care representatives.
Anne Torkington, Macmillan Information Manager, said: “We offer a range of support to patients and loved ones. Emotional and psychological support were the main areas where people have needed help. Other people who have come in have had issues around finances, work, carers and other practical concerns.
“In addition to supporting patients and carers, our centre provides a confidential service for staff who require support.”
Half of the 8.2 million people who lose their fight from cancer worldwide die prematurely. It is widely recognised that one in four cancers are preventable and are linked to lifestyle factors. Two health and wellbeing events held at Arrowe Park Hospital last year were hugely popular and offered a range of support and advice from professionals.
Dawn Miller, Macmillan Lead Cancer Nurse, added: “We are very proud of the care we deliver to cancer patients and continue to strive to improve services.
“It is important that we raise awareness around cancer on 4th February. We want people to talk about cancer and ensure they seek the help they need as soon as possible.”
Photo 1 – Dawn Miller, Macmillan Lead Cancer Nurse, pictured with Cancer nurses at Wirral University Teaching Hospital
Photo 2 - Anne Torkington, Macmillan Information Manager, at a health and wellbeing event last year aimed at offering advice and support for anyone affected by cancer.