Macmillan and Kingston CCG launch new cancer support service

Macmillan Cancer Support has partnered with Kingston Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to create an innovative health and wellbeing service for residents living with cancer.

The Macmillan Social Prescribing Service will help improve the quality of life of cancer patients by giving practical, emotional and personal support. It will do this by providing better access to community-based services, such as employment or benefits advice, carer support and counselling, as well as help accessing activities, including gardening groups, yoga and community choirs.

Grace Shorthouse, the new Macmillan Social Prescribing Link Worker, based at Surbiton Health Centre, will help people affected by cancer on a one-to-one basis. Grace will offer personalised support, exploring the practical needs and personal goals of patients, including getting back to work, becoming more active and socialising.

Grace said of her exciting new role:
"I am really looking forward to supporting local people affected by cancer, their families and carers. Whether it’s by phone or in person, we can explore which community-based services and activities are the best fit and help patients get back to living their lives. I aim to help them whatever their needs may be, and wherever they are in their journey".

Macmillan and Kingston CCG has launched this service in response to the growing recognition that cancer creates significant physical and psychological challenges and can have far-reaching social and economic consequences.

Dr Naz Jivani, Chair of Kingston CCG spoke about the help local residents will be able to access:
"Often people, following the diagnosis of cancer, have their lives turned upside down. The support that is provided by the Macmillan Social Prescribing can help, in some way, to create some stability and support in their lives and the lives of their carers. Kingston CCG’s partnership with Macmillan Cancer Support is providing the support for patients and carers living with and beyond cancer."

Ed Tallis, Macmillan Head of Development for London said:
"Every day, over 90 people in London hear the devastating news that they have cancer. This number is set to nearly double by 2030, which will result in thousands more people in the area needing medical, practical and emotional support.

"For this reason, we’re proud to have partnered with Kingston CCG to launch this innovative service which will help people affected by cancer in the area – during and after treatment. Life with cancer is still life and the Macmillan Social Prescribing Service will help people live it."

Dr Catherine Millington-Sanders, Kingston CCG Macmillan GP added:
"This is an exciting new community scheme for Kingston. The story of cancer is changing. More people than ever before are living with and beyond a cancer diagnosis. Macmillan funding this project means that we can support more people and their families affected by cancer to lead as healthy and active lives as possible."

The service will initially be available to residents registered at the following GP surgeries: Berrylands Surgery, Brunswick Surgery, Canbury Medical Practice, Central Surgery, Langley Medical Practice. It is then hoped the scheme will be rolled out borough-wide. Cancer patients, family members or carers can access the social prescribing scheme via referral through GP practices, hospitals and by self-referral.

Please call 07795 334 941 or email: kingston.socialprescribing@nhs.net, for further information, access criteria and a referral form.

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