• Thu. May 23rd, 2024

North East Connected

Hopping Across The North East From Hub To Hub

Opinions sought on new model of cancer support

People are being asked to give their thoughts on new proposals which aim to make it easier for those who have cancer and their families and carers to get the support they need.

Durham County Council has worked with Macmillan Cancer Support to develop ‘Joining the Dots County Durham’, a programme which aims to ensure people get the help they may need around income and housing as well as lifestyle and emotional support.

In 2016, we asked how the lives of those in the county affected by cancer could be improved, with the responses received shaping the proposals for new ways of working.

The proposals would see the development of a hub – a single place for people affected by cancer to be referred and which will be accessible via one telephone number, email address and webpage.

Key workers based in the community would then carry out a needs assessment to identify the issues people need help with and would work with them to develop plans to address the necessary support.

The proposals would also make it easier for people to speak to others who have experience of cancer and who can help guide them through their journey and provide emotional advice.

Cllr Lucy Hovvels MBE, Cabinet member for adult and health services, said: “A diagnosis of cancer can have far-reaching effects, far beyond that of getting treatment for the disease.

“Many people facing cancer need help around money and work as well as practical things like housework or dog walking, and because there is no way of finding out where that help might come from, they are missing out.

“We have been working closely with people affected by cancer to identify the key issues they face and believe that things such as peer support from those who have been in a similar situation could really make a difference to their lives at a very difficult time.”

Earlier this year, the project team recruited a number of co-production volunteers to help design plans for how people can get the support they need at a time and place they need it.

“Having looked at all of the information that was collected as well as our own personal experiences, we feel it is very important for there to be a single point of entry, no matter

where people live, the type of cancer they have or where they are receiving their treatment,” said Steve Mitton, one of the volunteers.

Paul McCavana, Macmillan Head of Services in the North of England, said: “This is an exciting time for Macmillan Joining the Dots County Durham – a lot of work has been going on involving Macmillan Cancer Support, Durham County Council, people living with cancer, healthcare professionals and many other organisations across the area to reach this point.

“This is potentially a new way of supporting people living with cancer in the area and we’re pleased to see plans shared with the public for their views.”

To view the proposals and have your say, visit http://www.durham.gov.uk/article/14392 or call 03000 265 445.

Anyone wanting to hear more about the proposals can also come to a Joining the Dots event at Spennymoor Leisure Centre on Thursday, 5 October. Registration is necessary – please email joiningthedots@durham.gov.uk to confirm attendance.

By Emily