Macmillan Information and Support Centre opened at Barnet Hospital
Last updated 30-Nov-11 11:14
A new Macmillan Information and Support Centre for anyone affected by cancer officially opened its doors at Barnet Hospital on Thursday 24 November.
The Centre, located to the right of the main entrance of the hospital, provides vital free information and support for anyone affected by cancer, whether they are worried they may have the disease, are a patient or are supporting someone during treatment or whilst adjusting to life afterwards. The relaxed and informal space includes a main area offering information booklets and leaflets and a quiet room.
There is a large screen with a keyboard so that visitors are able to access cancer support websites, supported by the Macmillan Cancer Information Manager, who is on hand to guide and answer any questions supported by a team of trained volunteers. Visitors can drop in without the need to make an appointment.
The Centre has been funded with money awarded by Macmillan Cancer Support, from an original donation from the Milly Apthorp Charitable Trust. Whilst it was officially launched this month, it has actually been delivering its service since June 2011 and has so far helped 450 people. An outreach service to Chase Farm Hospital is being introduced early in 2012 that will be supported by the appointment of a second Macmillan Information Support Specialist.
The Centre is run by Caroline Teehan, Macmillan Information Specialist. She says: “As treatments improve, more and more people are living with cancer in their daily lives. This means that in addition to medical help, people need practical, emotional and financial support.
“When you’re living with cancer, having the right kind of information and someone to talk to when you need it is essential, as it helps you make informed choices about your treatment and care and takes away some of the uncertainty and fear. The Macmillan Cancer Information & Support centre offers greater flexibility for patients and their family to access support at a time when they are feeling most anxious.
“People are free to drop in for a chat or to pick up the information which we have on many subjects, such as particular types of cancer, treatments and local support services.”
Over-the-phone information and support is available for people who are unable to get to the Macmillan Information Centre in person.
Macmillan Development Manager, Jo van Tijn, said: “Already this fantastic service is providing people affected by cancer in Barnet with the information and support they need, when they need it.
“We are very grateful to the Trustees of the Milly Apthorp Charitable Trust for their very generous support of the new centre. The Trust made a grant of £140,000 to Macmillan last year to help establish the new service for local people. The money has gone towards refurbishment work to create a space for the service to be delivered at the main entrance to Barnet Hospital, as well as the funding of costs of two Macmillan Information Specialists.”
Mike Pine, Lead Cancer Nurse at Barnet and Chase Farm Hospitals, said: “We have always taken great pride in our cancer services, and the addition of this support service compliments the work of our clinical teams. It is a pleasure to be working with Macmillan Cancer Support in providing this new aspect of the service, particularly as providing the right information can reduce a lot of the anxiety that follows a diagnosis of cancer for both patients and their families.”