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Extra peace of mind for cancer sufferers this Christmas

Thursday, 10 July, 2014
Extra peace of mind for cancer sufferers this Christmas

Cancer patients across Northumberland and North Tyneside will have extra peace of mind this Christmas thanks to a new 24 hour oncology helpline launched by Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.


The new telephone support service means patients undergoing cancer treatment in any of the Trust’s four oncology day units can call and speak directly to a senior chemotherapy nurse after hours – in the evening, during the night and anytime over weekends. 


Details of the oncology helpline are shared with patients attending the Trust’s four oncology day units at Berwick Infirmary and general hospitals in Hexham, North Tyneside and Wansbeck.  Patients undergoing chemotherapy treatment are given a number to call whatever the time of day or night if they have any immediate queries or concerns.


Gill Starkey, Lead Cancer Nurse at Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust said: “Being diagnosed with cancer and undergoing treatment is a very daunting and life changing experience and patients can often feel very vulnerable. 


“We want our patients to have complete peace of mind, especially over Christmas and this new dedicated helpline means specialist help and advice is only ever a phone call away.


“Our patients will get straight through to a senior chemotherapy nurse who can help answer queries about some of the common side effects of treatment but also give advice and reassurance on symptoms which may need more urgent help.


“We don’t want anyone to have to make any unnecessary trips to A&E and by having specialist cancer nurses available over the phone, patients will be able to get the right support and advice on what they should do.  If they do need to attend one of our hospitals then appropriate arrangements can be made.”


Cancer services at Northumbria Healthcare are consistently rated as among the best in England, with teams of specialist consultants and nurses providing care to hundreds of patients every single day both in hospital and in the community across North Tyneside and Northumberland.


In the national Cancer Patient Experience Survey of over 160 NHS Trusts, Northumbria Healthcare was rated the fourth best performing organisation across the whole of England when it comes to providing a top quality experience of care for cancer patients.