The initiative Living with cancer is challenging in a stretched healthcare system. Research indicates there are unmet needs affecting women with cancer due to the uniqueness of their issues (Cheng, Wong & Koh, 2016). Over a period of 12 months, St Giles Hospice, in partnership with Breast Friends have developed this new innovative service based on research and feedback. Feedback highlighted a clear need to support women who have had body changing surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy and continue with long term medications, which have left them with low self-esteem, self-worth and issues with their sexuality and relationships. The service offers day, evening or weekend appointments over three days.
Improve the wellbeing of women living with cancer and the adverse effects of its treatments
Empower women to take control and self–manage a range of problems impacting on their body image, sexuality and wellbeing
Re–connecting relationships, enabling them to discuss their concerns relating to how cancer and its treatments may impact upon their relationship.
The goalsWhy the service is unique and innovative
Empower women to self–refer – in their own time, leading to self–management
Time to talk openly about concerns with a nurse in a relaxed, safe, confidential and welcoming environment
Support via ongoing sessions for not only the woman but her partner and family as required
Easy access to other specialist services via onward referrals or signposting
A supportive care service that other healthcare professionals can refer/signpost to.
The future Evaluation will be collated over the next 12 months by measuring the success of the intervention on confidence, motivation, anxieties and general state of mind. Questionnaires pre- and post interventions will be gathered and will enable St Giles Hospice to lead and provide evidence based practice to other healthcare professionals which will benefit further women living with cancer and the adverse effects of its treatment.
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