CanChat: New support line for St George’s patients living with cancer
Cancer patients at St George’s can now get confidential phone support from trained volunteers.
CanChat is for patients who are worried about money, work, or treatment, or would just like to talk to someone who knows what they are going through.
Members of Voice, the St George’s cancer patient user group, came up with the idea, and the Macmillan Information Centre at the Trust runs the service.
Sue Fox, CanChat volunteer and Chair of Voice, said: “At a Voice meeting last year attendees said how good it was to chat to other cancer patients.
“This gave us the idea that we should set up a support line service. The Trust agreed, and so volunteers were recruited and trained – they are all St George’s cancer patients or carers.
“I recently had my first CanChat call with a lovely lady. She said she was so lucky to have found the service, and was very grateful for being matched so well with me.”
CanChat is initially being run as a pilot for the next few months, with volunteers available from Sundays to Thursdays.
Contact is first made via the Macmillan Information Centre, and then calls are made at a mutually convenient time. No clinical advice can be given, but all other aspects of living with cancer can be discussed. Each call can be as long as needed.
Janice Minter, Lead Cancer Nurse at St George’s, said: “This is a fantastic initiative that will improve the experience of our cancer patients. Having someone at the end of a phone to talk to will complement the treatment they receive from our teams, and the fact that it has been driven by patients is great. I want to thank everyone who has made the pilot possible.”
For more information contact the Macmillan Cancer Information and Support Centre. Call 0208 725 2677 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Strengthening and further developing our cancer services is part of the Trust’s new five-year strategy.