A PIONEERING breast cancer support charity’s outreach centre will continue at Worcestershire Royal Hospital breast unit after overwhelming support from visitors.
National breast cancer support charity, Breast Cancer Haven (BCH), opened an outreach centre at the hospital last March as part of a one-year pilot scheme.
And now following an extensive evaluation, the centre – the first to open on a hospital site – will continue to be offered by the Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust.
BCH has been offering supportive therapies just one day a week from the new, £1.8m Worcestershire Breast Unit.
For each patient – as well as an initial consultation with a Breast Cancer Haven breast care nurse who specialises in complementary support – visitors receive up to five free therapies to help relieve the side-effects of breast cancer treatment, including counselling, acupuncture, and nutritional advice.
In its first year to the end of February 2017 there have been almost 500 supportive therapy sessions at the centre from a total of 138 new service users.
Among the findings from the evaluation were praise for the ‘very helpful’ therapies while more than 90 per cent praised the peaceful environment offered by the centre.
One user said: “Breast Cancer Haven has been a lifeline to me which is difficult to put into words.
“I have never felt so cared for and supported. When outwardly I was coping well, inwardly it was Breast Cancer Haven,” she added.
Consultant breast surgeon, Steven Thrush said “We are so proud of the service provided at the breast unit and feel Breast Cancer Haven is integral to our ethos caring for the individual.
“The Worcestershire Breast Unit Haven charity ensures the continued provision of this service as well as continuing to improve facilities and care for the women of Worcestershire,” he added.
Chair of the Worcestershire Breast Unit Haven charity, Fiona Charny, added: “I am so pleased every patient is offered the opportunity of accessing Breast Cancer Haven services.
“This is the first place in the country where it is integral to the NHS,” she added.
Pamela Healy OBE, chief executive of Breast Cancer Haven said: “This new partnership marked an important step-change for the charity as it was the first time in our 17-year history that our integrated breast cancer support service became available from an NHS site.
“With the on-going support of the Worcestershire Breast Unit we are committed to continuing the Breast Cancer Haven programme.
“We are hugely indebted to the Worcestershire Breast Unit Haven charity, whose generous support makes our Worcester service possible,” she added.