Pilot scheme will help women after cancer treatment

Ground-breaking programme to aid mental health

Pilot scheme will help women after cancer treatment
03 August 2016



A ground-breaking eight-week programme to help women with their mental health following treatment for ovarian cancer is to be launched.

The pilot scheme is a joint project involving clinicians from mental health and community care provider Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust and Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge.

It will bring together experts from CPFT’s Psychological Wellbeing Service, which helps those with stress, anxiety and depression, and Liaison Psychiatry Service – which provides psychiatric care to those in acute hospitals – with counterparts from Addenbrooke’s gynaecological department. It will also involve CPFT’s Recovery College, which helps people learn new skills and understand more about their personal mental health challenges.

The first programme will involve up to 12 women who have recently been given the all-clear following the end of their treatment.

Christina Jassi, (pictured) senior clinician with the Psychological Wellbeing Service, who is leading the project for CPFT, said: “Women who go through treatment for ovarian cancer get a lot of support for their physical health during their treatment, but we know there is an issue afterwards surrounding their mental health and how they adjust to life.

“From the conversations we have had with individual women and support groups, we have identified a gap where some women may struggle to come to terms with what has happened to them.

“This programme will provide them with emotional and practical support regarding such issues as managing relationships, going back to work, understanding low-mood, and sleep disturbance. It is a
pilot project, and we have not heard of a collaboration such as this before so we will very much be led by the women who have agreed to take part.”

Elaine Chapman, Macmillan Lead Cancer Nurse at Addenbrooke's Hospital, said: “We are very pleased to working in partnership with colleagues from Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust.
“The mental health of patients is just as important as their physical health and this has the potential to make a very positive contribution to women’s lives following their cancer treatment.”

The NHS says around 7,100 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer each year in the UK. It's the fifth most common cancer among women after breast cancer, bowel cancer, lung cancer and cancer of the uterus.

Christina Jassi added: “The overall aim is to provide the programme across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough and give women some really useful and practical steps they can take following their treatment. Since September last year, people have been able to refer themselves directly to the Psychological Wellbeing Service, rather than going via their GP. In time, we hope women will also be able to self-refer to the programme.”

As well as full-time programme being put in place, it also hoped that an integrated psycho-oncology service providing psychological services for those being treated for cancer across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough can be implemented in the future.

ENDS

For more information please contact:

Andy Burrows
Communications Manager
E andy.burrows@cpft.nhs.uk
T 01223 726767

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust
Elizabeth House, Fulbourn Hospital
Cambridge, CB21 5EF

T 01223 219400 (open 8:30am to 5pm)
F 01480 398501

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