We are two Local Area Coordinators, Mary Lynch and Sharon Breeze, working for a Macmillan service called Improving the Cancer Journey which is delivered jointly with Fife Health and Social Care Partnership. We have been working in this role for over two years.
We meet people in their own community across Fife who are affected by cancer. We find out what matters to the person; helping to identify issues that have been causing some concern within the last week. We do this with a concerns checklist which we use as part of the good conversation approach we have with each person. This is about using our skills of listening deeply to help us discover what matters most to each individual.
The impact of a cancer diagnosis can be financial, emotional and psychological as well as the obvious physical impacts and it is important that people are enabled to find the right supports, advice and information at the point where they really need them and to remove any barriers for the person. For example, a barrier may be to go to Maggie’s, we would set up a referral to make it easier for the person.
We refer to other agencies including Move More Fife and we will also provide Macmillan booklets that may help people understand more about cancer and the impact of this.
As a Fife wide service, we work across all areas of Fife and aim to identify community assets that are already in existence as well as resources that can support people without the need for formal services. We are continuing to build good links in communities and work closely with all our partners. Another part of our work is to identify any gaps in the community that would benefit from our input and/or joint working with other organisations.
Many of the people we have worked with have told us that having a cancer diagnosis can leave them feeling very isolated and not knowing which way to turn. Having a worker to help identify what matters to them and create a support plan together can make a real difference to their sense of wellbeing and can increase their feelings of being in control of the situation.
Please feel free to approach us and find out if the service would be helpful for you, your patient or your client. Equally, make a referral and we will contact the person.
To find to out more contact us 01592 578076 or Improving.CancerJourney@fife.gov.uk
Check out the Improving the Cancer Journey Leaflet
The Improving the Cancer Journey service builds on the Transforming Care After Treatment (TCAT) work which was officially launched by the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing in June 2013. Over the course of 2016/17 funding from Macmillan Cancer Support was invested to focus on the initial three areas: