Happy first birthday: North West London cancer patients praise Macmillan Cancer Support & Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust Navigator Service
In April 2015, Macmillan Cancer Support and Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust launched an innovative telephone support service for people affected by cancer in North West London. One year on, patients are heralding the service as a great success.
The Macmillan Navigator Service was set up to build on Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust’s world-class clinical outcomes. It is helping to ensure that cancer patients receiving treatment from the trust feel well supported and can access help, advice and support when they need it. The team of navigators provide a single point of contact via a dedicated telephone number from the moment someone has a suspected cancer diagnosis, through their treatment and beyond.
The service now receives around 1,500 calls per month. The navigators are available seven days a week to support patients and their relatives.
One patient who has benefitted from the service is Peter Goulding who was treated at Charing Cross Hospital for prostate cancer. He said: “During your cancer treatment it can be a bit of a blur. The Navigator service means you get through to a human being very quickly and you feel they are very supportive and empathetic. They take ownership and it is reassuring to know that they understand your specific needs and can provide you with immediate help”.
Nawal Ahmed, who has been working as a Macmillan Navigator since it opened says the job is really rewarding: “One patient called to change an appointment. I asked if there was anything else I could help with and he told me about some of the other problems he was experiencing. By the end of the call his voice had completely changed – he kept telling me how pleased he was to have called, that I couldn’t have been more helpful and that I’d made him feel so much better. It gave me a real buzz to know I’d made a difference.”
At Macmillan, we know how a cancer diagnosis can affect everything.
The Macmillan Navigator Service was set up in response to patients’ feedback. Patient’s said that they wanted a simple, easy route to get their questions answered and issues resolved.