Sheffield cancer patients get wellbeing boost 

Head and neck cancer patients in Sheffield are to benefit from a £1,000 grant from a specialist charity. 

The Macmillan cancer nurse specialists at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital have received a grant of £1,000 from the Get A-Head charity to provide a wellbeing event for patients on Thursday, September 14, at the Sheffield United FC conference centre. 

Louise Marley, one of a four-strong CNS team for head and neck cancers at the hospital, said a similar event held just before the pandemic had proved very popular. 

She said: “We invited all the patients who had been treated within the previous year or so to come along. We had all of the teams there, representing all the services they needed like surgery, oncology, radiotherapy, and patients could just come down, have a cup of tea and get advice from anyone they needed to talk to.  

“They got to find out about services which would benefit them and put names to faces and it was tailored to the individual. 

“From the survey we did after the event we know patients really benefited. The staff did too – there are some services that are not well-known, so it was really helpful to them to meet patients.” 

Louise said the aim was to use half of the Get-Ahead grant to put on the event in September and the rest would go towards another event in the future. 

Patients diagnosed with head and neck cancer during the last three years will be invited to the event in September, which will run from 10am until 1pm in the International Suite.  

They will be able to seek advice and support from specialists, enjoy tea and coffee and will also receive a goodie bag. 

Tom Bromwich, chairman of national charity Get A-Head, said: “We are absolutely delighted that this grant will support patients in Sheffield who have been diagnosed with head and neck cancer to access the information and services they need to make their lives better. 

“Any cancer diagnosis is tough, but when it affects the head and neck, it can cause lots of difficulties. It can alter speech, hearing and key facial features and it can be very hard for people to deal with these symptoms.  

“It’s vital that support is on hand to help patients through the physical and emotional trauma associated with cancer and these events hosted by the Macmillan cancer nurse specialists will provide an opportunity for patients to seek dedicated advice and guidance based on their individual needs.” 

Cancer nurse specialists support cancer patients from the time of diagnosis and for as long as that support is needed. They carry out a holistic needs assessment and help patients to access services they need, as well as running support groups and being available to answer questions and give advice at the end of a telephone line. 

Get A-Head is a Midlands-based charity which supports patients nationally with head and neck disease, particularly cancer. 

It funds research into the causes and treatments of head and neck diseases, pays for continuing education for health care professionals, funds life-changing equipment for patients that the NHS can’t provide, and offers access to complementary therapies which can improve the quality of life for people living with head and neck disease or injury.