St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is delighted to announce the launch of the Macmillan Cancer Psychological Support (CaPS) Team.

Being told you have cancer can be devastating and at several points in their treatment pathway, patients can find it hard to cope emotionally. Around 1 in 4 patients affected by cancer will require expert psychological assessment and intervention as a result of their diagnosis.  Psychological distress is an understandable and natural response to any traumatic and threatening experience, and is common amongst people affected by cancer.  While each person will experience their cancer differently, common emotional responses to a diagnosis of cancer can include anxiety, low mood, hopelessness, anger or changes in your sense of identity or relationships.  The team has been set-up in partnership with Macmillan Cancer Support to ensure that these psychological needs of patients are addressed as part of their cancer care at St George’s.

The team is comprised of counselling, clinical psychology and liaison psychiatry resource, who will not only be working with patients but also supporting staff through training and supervision. Dr Sahil Suleman, Macmillan Consultant clinical psychologist who leads the team said, “Our team are here to help patients and their families deal with the emotional and psychological impact of cancer and its treatment.  Whilst everyone may struggle at different times in their cancer care, we can address the full range and severity of psychological issues associated with cancer throughout their time with St George’s. Our experienced team has an excellent understanding of the specific challenges that particular cancers, symptoms and treatments can bring, and is skilled at exploring the unique impact that adjusting to these can have on an individual and their loved ones.”