Our patients have rated our service among the best in the country and we will support you, and your family, through diagnosis to treatment and follow-up care. Our consultants and nurses are specialists in different types of cancer who will quickly arrange any treatment that may be necessary.
You will be allocated a team of nurses for advice and support during your care.
Our team of consultants specialise in treating different types of cancer and you will be seen by the consultant most appropriate to your condition. It may not be necessary to see the consultant again until the end of your treatment but this all depends upon your cancer and treatment. A nurse who specialises in your type of cancer will support you throughout your care and treatment.
Your diagnosis and treatment will be carried out in either North Tyneside, Hexham or Wansbeck general hospitals or Alnwick or Berwick Infirmary, so you can choose the one nearest to where you live.
Some tests such as blood tests and x-rays can be carried out in your nearest hospital but for more complex investigations we may ask you to come to whichever of our general hospitals is closest to you at North Tyneside, Wansbeck or Hexham. .....
We have oncology day units at Hexham, North Tyneside and Wansbeck general hospitals and at Alnwick and Berwick Infirmary.
Before starting any treatment you will be given an appointment called a pre-assessment visit where you will get a chance to come to the unit and meet the staff who will be caring for you. The type of treatment you will be having will be explained to you at this appointment.
The units offer a wide variety of chemotherapy treatment delivered by specialist nurses, as well as supporting treatments including blood transfusions, the removal of fluid from the chest or abdomen (known as pleural aspirations and paracentesis). Other investigations such as bone marrow biopsies can also be carried out in the units.
Each day unit also offers a range of free complimentary therapies which can support you through treatment such as reflexology, Indian head massage and body massage.
If you are having chemotherapy you will be given a chemotherapy record book and an information booklet introducing you to the unit you will be visiting. Your consultant will fully explain your treatment to you and that one of the side effects of chemotherapy can be hair loss. We will provide you with advice on dealing with this and North Tyneside General Hospital offers a service providing a selection of hats, scarves and wigs. Our charitable funds pay for this up to the value of £20 and you can use this service no matter which of our hospitals you are being treated in. Other treatments at the hospital includes scalp cooling if your consultant recommends it for you.
It can be an anxious time for families and we can offer support and provide information and guidance about how to tell relatives, particularly young children, of a cancer diagnosis and what this means.
If you need radiotherapy you will be advised by your consultant where you will receive this treatment.
Your consultant will explain any surgery that may be recommended as part of your treatment.
Clinics are held at North Tyneside and Wansbeck general hospitals and you will be given an appointment time.
If you need treatment at one of our oncology day units you will be given an appointment time and the units are open:
- Alnwick Oncology Day Unit, Friday 8.30am - 5pm
- Berwick Oncology Day Unit, Wednesday and Thursday 8.30am – 4.30pm
- Hexham Oncology Day Unit, Monday to Thursday 8am – 6pm
- Wansbeck Oncology Day Unit, Monday to Friday, 8.30am – 5pm (open later on Wednesday and Thursday until 6pm)
- North Tyneside Oncology Day Unit, Monday to Friday 8.30- 5pm (open later on Tuesday and Thursday until 7pm)
During your treatment you will be mainly cared for by your specialist nursing team and your consultant.
You may also be seen by different healthcare professionals including radiologists, histopathologists, occupational therapist, clinical psychologist, dietician, Macmillan nurses and a possibly a social worker or Macmillan benefits advisor if needed.
Once you have started treatment if you have any problems relating to your treatment or cancer you should contact the oncology day unit you are attending:
- Alnwick - 01665 626755
- Berwick - 01289 356653
- Hexham - 01434 655078
- North Tyneside - 0191 2932751
- Wansbeck - 01670 529651
If you need urgent medical advice at night or the weekend, there are out of hours contact numbers for services. In an emergency dial 999.
You are encouraged to bring a relative or friend with you to your appointment for support. You may also find it useful to write down your questions and bring them with you to your appointment with your consultant, along with a list of your current medication.
If you need to change your appointment please call the oncology unit directly where you are being treated (the numbers are listed above, under contacts).
Useful links and service user groups
- Breakthrough Breast Cancer
- Breast Cancer Care
- Northumberland and North Tyneside Cancer Service User Group – an independent group of patients, health professionals and support groups working to improve cancer services. Contact - firstname.lastname@example.org / 07817 515265