Positive response to Sheffield head and neck cancer event

An information and networking event for head and neck cancer patients in Sheffield has been hailed a resounding success.

The health and well-being event at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital was organised by the Macmillan cancer nurse specialists and paid for with a £1,000 grant from the Get A-Head charitable trust, which supports health professionals and patients with head and neck conditions, especially cancer.

The event, which featured information and advice about treatments and support services for people with head and neck cancers, was attended by more than 30 patients as well as hospital staff.

Macmillan cancer nurse specialist Louise Marley said: “The feedback has been so positive, from both patients and the hospital teams attending.

“I want to say a huge thank you from us all to Get A-Head, who gave us the grant to pay for the venue. This event wouldn’t be possible without this backing and generosity.

“All of the health and support teams went to such efforts with their displays, and ATOS kindly paid for the refreshments, so we were able to put on a fantastic event for everyone who came along.”

Get A-Head chairman Tom Bromwich said: “I’m delighted that so many people benefited from the well-being event.

“When someone is going through cancer it can seem as though life is just one hospital visit after another. Treatment can be brutal, but there are lots of support services and complementary therapies which can make life just that bit easier.

“Head and neck cancer can be particularly traumatic as it often has very noticeable effects, such as facial scars, impaired speech and cognitive difficulties, so it is vital that patients have full information about what support is available to them.

“What Louise and her colleagues did was to bring all those services into the same place so patients could find out about everything without having to trawl the internet or make multiple visits.

“It’s a simple idea but so effective, and I’m glad the contribution from Get A-Head helped the Macmillan team make such a difference to patients’ well-being.”

Louise said feedback from patients and staff had been very positive, with many saying they had found out about some services for the first time while many enjoyed the chance to talk with others in the same situation.

The event was held on September 14th at the Sheffield United FC conference centre and included information on core services such as surgery, oncology and radiotherapy, as well as exercise, nutrition, camouflage make-up, dentistry, lymphoedema, emotional support and giving up smoking.

As well as Get A-Head and Macmillan, the organisations and charities who got involved included Yorkshire Cancer Research, ATOS Care, Sheffield Hallam University, Cavendish Cancer Care and Weston Park Cancer Support.

Get A-Head aims to improve the lives of those with head and neck conditions by funding vital research, paying for education and training for health professionals and providing vital equipment and complementary therapies to make life better for patients.