Your Local Cancer Services

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1 Useful websites NORTHAMPTONSHIRE CENTRE i for ONCOLOGY PATIENT INFORMATION Other information Northampton General Hospital operates a smoke-free policy. This means that smoking is not allowed anywhere on the trust site, this includes all buildings, grounds and car parks. Leaflets, information, advice and support on giving up smoking and on nicotine replacement therapy are available from the Stop Smoking helpline on , the national helpline on , and pharmacies. Car parking at Northampton General Hospital is extremely limited and it is essential to arrive early, allowing ample time for parking. You may find it more convenient to arrange to be dropped off and collected. Your Local Cancer Services For patients with cancer attending Northampton General Hospital This information can be provided in other languages and formats upon request including Braille, audio cassette and CD. Please contact (01604) or the Patient Advice & Liaison Service (PALS) on (01604) , Northamptonshire Centre for Oncology Northampton General Hospital NHS Trust, Cliftonville, Northampton NN1 5BD. Telephone (01604) Desktop Publishing by the Communications Office NGV1368 Updated March of 11

2 Contents Social support Page 3 Financial help and advice Page 4 Prescription exemption Page 5 Macmillan grants Page 5 Travelling to hospital Page 6 Someone to talk to Page 6-7 Psychological support Page 7 Spiritual support Page 7 Patient support and self help groups Page 7-9 Useful telephone numbers Page 10 Further advice Page 10 Introduction This booklet is for all patients with a cancer diagnosis attending Northampton General Hospital and their carers. You will have been offered information about your specific disease and any available treatment from your consultant or specialist nurse and this booklet is designed to supplement that information. We know from experience that patients and their carers also want to receive information and advice about non-medical aspects of being diagnosed with cancer - information and advice about local support groups or financial help for example. Although we have tried to be comprehensive in explaining and providing details of available services, it is not always possible to anticipate the needs of every individual. This booklet aims to help you understand the services that are available to you and 'sign post' you to services that you may find useful whilst you are having treatment. Do not hesitate to ask your healthcare team, specialist nurse or Macmillan information and support centre if you have unanswered questions and they will direct you to sources of available help. Useful websites Page 11 1 of 11 2 of 11

3 Social support Social care services offer different types of help to people. This may be information, advice or services to help people stay in their own homes safely, as well as information about residential or nursing homes. Social care services are arranged by the adult care team who are there to help you access a wide range of social care services to meet your needs. A fee may be charged for some services depending on your financial circumstances. Support at home If you meet certain criteria various services can be arranged. These include: Personal or short-term care in the home Meals Disabled parking badges Laundry Equipment to use at home If it is agreed that you will receive any of these services, you will be given more details in an individual care plan. To contact the adult social care team telephone fax (01933) The service is available 8.00am pm Monday - Friday and 9.00am pm on Saturday. 3 of 11 Financial help and advice Your income may have gone down as a result of your illness and you may need financial help and advice. Although there is no specific benefit that patients with cancer are entitled to there are various organisations who may be able to advise you about your particular circumstances. Welfare rights advice A Macmillan welfare rights service works closely with the hospital to provide advice to patients with cancer. Welfare rights advisors hold a drop-in session at the Macmillan information centre in the Oncology department at Northampton General Hospital on Thursdays between 1.00pm and 3.00pm. Telephone (01604) for details. Macmillan Cancer Support gives grants to people on a reduced income. They also offer financial advice via their national helpline and their website. Telephone between 9.00am and 8.00pm Monday - Friday or visit Other charity-run or council-run welfare rights services may operate in your area - check with staff or find them listed in the local telephone directory under Welfare rights or Department for Work and Pensions. National Advice Debtline This is a freephone service, which provides money advice and counselling. Telephone For local advice about housing and money telephone the Housing and Money Advice Centre on (01604) of 11

4 Help with health costs Prescriptions are free to all patients with cancer or those who have had cancer and continue to receive medication for the disease or the effects of the disease. To obtain a free prescription you will need a medical exemption card. Forms for these can be obtained in the Macmillan cancer information centre or from your GP. The form should be completed and given to your GP or an oncologist to sign. Travel costs Help with travelling to hospital is available for those on certain benefits. Expenses for petrol, bus or train fares can be reclaimed from the patient finance office with a form completed by staff in the department you are attending. You will need to be in receipt of: Income support Income based job-seeker s allowance NHS Tax Credit Exemption Certificate Pension Credit guarantee credit (PCGC) In receipt of HC2/HC3 (NHS certificate) Employment and Support Allowance (Income related) Receipts will be required for bus and train fares, petrol expenses are worked out using your postcode. Macmillan grants can be applied for to meet some of the costs of travelling expenses. Capital and income limits apply. See the website for details or telephone the helpline (details on page 11). Travelling to hospital Most patients make their own way to hospital. It is perfectly alright to drive unless you have been advised not to by the doctor. The hospital is sign posted from the motorway as well as in the town centre. The Oncology department is situated in Area N and the nearest car park is Car Park 5 accessible from Billing Road. Volunteer car schemes People who don t want to drive and cannot use public transport often make use of voluntary car schemes to get to medical appointments. Various systems are in operation and you should ask at your local hospital or contact the cancer information centre for more details of schemes in your area. There is usually a charge, which will be refunded to those on qualifying benefits (see page opposite for details). Hospital cars and ambulances are only provided in cases of special medical need and not as a result of the diagnosis. Someone to talk to Cancer has a major emotional impact on peoples lives. It not only affects the patient but family and friends as well. Patients and those close to them sometimes believe that they should be able to deal with the situation on their own. Sometimes this may not be the case; talking things over can often help you make some sense of what is happening to you. 5 of 11 6 of 11

5 People who can help Your hospital medical team recognise and understand the emotional impact of cancer, and you can talk to them about your concerns. Your GP will be kept up-to-date with your progress and will be very much involved in your cancer journey and a source of advice and information for you. There are also others who can help. Often patients find it both reassuring and helpful to talk to other people who are in a similar situation. Sometimes sharing an experience with another patient can lessen the stress and burden of cancer and take away the feeling of isolation. Psychological support It is not unusual for some patients to need additional psychological support when they have cancer. If you feel you need this sort of help, you can be referred to these services by a member of your team or by the Macmillan cancer information centre. Local support groups Local groups often support those with a particular cancer. If there is a support group operating locally, which meets to support people affected by your illness, this will usually be mentioned in the information provided by your specialist nurse at or shortly after diagnosis. Individuals may set up groups following their cancer experience or groups may have been set up with the help of a health professional. There are various ways to find out about groups available in your area: Speak to your specialist nurse Visit or telephone your local Macmillan Information and Support Centre - details at the end of this booklet Search the Macmillan online directory - or telephone the Macmillan helpline on Patient self-help and support groups Self-help and support groups can provide advice and support to people with cancer and those who love and care for them. They give you the chance to meet and talk with people affected by cancer. Some national groups operate a matching service so that volunteers with a similar experience will make contact to offer peer support. Many groups offer the opportunity to speak to someone on a oneto-one basis over the telephone or in person. They may also be a way of participating in social activities in a safe environment whilst you are undergoing treatment Spiritual support Some people ask What have I done to deserve this others ask why me or why now? These are spiritual questions seeking to make sense of what often seems pointless, wasteful, cruel or unfair. The chaplains and chaplaincy volunteers are available to help patients, visitors and staff to cope with these questions and situations. They are available to everyone regardless of a commitment to any particular religion or none. 7 of 11 8 of 11

6 The Hospital Chapel is situated in Hospital Street opposite the canteen and is available for private prayer or space to be quiet and still. Chaplains provide spiritual, religious and pastoral support and care for patients, their friends and relatives. If you would like: To speak with a chaplain A chaplain to contact your own minister or religious leader A chaplain to pray with or for you To receive communion or other holy rituals by your bedside Help to visit the Hospital Chapel ask staff on the ward or in the department to contact the appropriate person for you via switchboard. For urgent concerns there is always a chaplain on-call throughout the night and at weekends. Useful telephone numbers Macmillan Cancer Support can be contacted via the website or there is a telephone help line Monday - Friday 9.00am pm. Cancerhelp provides patient information from Cancer Research UK. The organisation can be contacted at or telephone Monday - Friday 9.00am pm. Adult Social Care (Northamptonshire) for information about social care services, disabled parking badges and local day care centres telephone or Further advice If you need more information about anything mentioned in this booklet please ask a member of your healthcare team, or visit or telephone the Macmillan Cancer Information and Support Centre. The Centre is in the Oncology Waiting Area opposite Reception. Opening hours are 10.00am pm, Monday - Friday. No appointment is necessary. Telephone (01604) of of 11

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