I recently spent time with the Information Manager for Macmillan Cancer Support based in Aintree Hospital, which has been based there for about four years. There were a number of useful points that arose from our discussion and I hope it will result in an increase in referrals from this source.
The Information Manager and the Information Officer have both worked within the hospital in other roles for many years. As a result they know a large number of the professionals and have made fantastic inroads with regard to promoting their service. This is particularly true in the case of the Cancer Nurse Specialists (CNS). It therefore occurred to me that our time would be best spent promoting our service to other professionals in the hospital. Clearly the CNS were referring regularly to the Macmillan Centre who will in turn refer cases to the Cancer, Older People and Advocacy project as and when appropriate.
We discussed one of the cases that they were involved in and we reflected upon how they intended to proceed. They acknowledged that there was a role for advocacy in this case and although on this occasion they had completed the work, we could have provided an outreach element that they were unable to. The gentleman in question was aged 52 so I was able to reiterate that we are able to work with people aged over 50.
During the visit I was given information about a number of projects that I was not aware of, for example a clothing bank run by Macmillan that provides ten items of clothing for people who had experienced weight loss or gain. This is such a useful resource and I am sure I will be referring to them in the future.
The Information Centre in the north of our borough sits outside of the hospital and so potentially the referral stream from CNS to Macmillan is different. Therefore we will continue to speak with the CNS in this area.
Helen Vernon, SPAC