Caring for the carers

Communications TeamNews

Help to balance the demands of work and home life following a loved one’s cancer diagnosis

A cancer diagnosis can be a shock to the system, not just for the patient but also for their loved ones. Thoughts can race from treatment and side effects to the impact on family, work, and what else the future could hold.

In order to help guide people through such a time of uncertainty, the Macmillan Living With and Beyond Cancer Team at Castle Hill Hospital has teamed up with local carers support services to offer regular, specialist advice.

On Thursday 30th March, Hull’s Carers Information and Support Service will begin hosting weekly drop-in clinics for patients at any stage of their cancer journey and their loved ones. The session will take place from 9am to 5pm in the Macmillan Information Centre at the Queen’s Centre, Castle Hill, and then continue to take place weekly each Thursday, with no appointment necessary.

For those living outside the city, East Riding Carers Team will host the first of four quarterly drop-in sessions from 10am to 2pm on Tuesday 4th April, also in the Macmillan Information Centre. These sessions are again open to anyone living in the East Riding who’s been diagnosed with cancer as well as the family, loved ones and carers supporting them through their diagnosis and treatment.

Representatives from Hull and East Riding Carers Groups within the Macmillan Centre

Representatives from Hull and East Riding Carers Groups will be on hand to offer advice

Claire Walker from the Living With and Beyond Cancer Team says:

“Working at the Macmillan Information Centre, we regularly provide advice and support to people with a cancer diagnosis, but we spotted a gap recently for those caring for a loved one with cancer. Family members in particular don’t often see themselves as a carer, and so can miss out on the various types of support available.

“Talking to our patients, we regularly hear how partners are struggling to cope after taking on a much larger share of domestic duties and responsibilities. The pressures of work, childcare, finances, taking care of the home and taking their loved one to and from medical appointments can have such a big impact mentally and physically; they can really take their toll.

“But the good news is that help and advice is out there. We recently held a successful carers event at the Queen’s Centre which had a great response. From this, we realised that we needed to offer more regular opportunities for people to speak to experts in this area, so by teaming up with the Carers Services in Hull and the East Riding, that’s exactly what we’re now doing.”

Both sessions will offer advice on matters such as the carers card and assessment, financial support, family support, carers respite, access to support groups and much more.

All discussions will remain confidential, with access to private discussion space if required.

Julie Watson, Macmillan Lead Cancer Nurse at the Queen’s Centre says:

“By teaming up with carers services across Hull and East Yorkshire, we’re looking to ensure the personal, social and clinical needs of our patients, and those caring for people going through cancer treatment, can be addressed more fully.

“The provision of specific advice for carers, to help them through what can be a really tough time for them too, will be a brilliant extra resource and will really complement the support services we already have in place.”