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Non-clinical Cancer Support Services

Cancer Support Services

downloadStrategic evidence for project

Feedback from members of the public highlighted limited non-clinical/holistic services and provision for those living with or caring for someone with cancer.
The demand and best practice examples from other support centres meant the people of Peterborough were missing out on a much needed resource.
Local statistical data from Public Health England, cancer was a priority concern for local people in Peterborough. our project reflects on the findings of The Emotional Impact of Cancer Macmillan report recommended that “the NHS should give greater priority…to services across the UK that address the emotional, practical, information and support needs of people with and affected by cancer.”  It also recommended “…they should also find effective ways of involving people with and affected by cancer so that services become more person-centred” CLICK HERE for report.


Through our statutory powers, we established that the Robert Horrell Macmillan Centre (RHMC) was being underutilised and providing limited, if any, non-clinical services, support or information to patients or carers.
We carried out surveys on a one-to-one basis with patients and carers, providing credible evidence for a patient-centred approach to develop local services. CLICK HERE to read our report.
We submitted this report to key partners including the local hospital Trust and Macmillan.
We provided supporting evidence for the need for the centre to be developed, as part of a bid by the Trust to Macmillan.

Healthwatch Peterborough and the hospital gathered further feedback at Peterborough events Race for Life and Beales Breast Cancer Fashion Show.
In October 2015 Macmillan facilitated a stakeholder event with patients, carers and staff to gain a greater insight to what is needed for local people. This patient-centred approach reflected the findings of Macmillan report ‘The Emotional Impact of cancer’.


The hospital’s proposal, which included our report and evidence, was successful. Macmillan supported the development of community holistic services for those living with or caring for someone with cancer.

The new Cancer Wellbeing service was launched September 2016.

In February 2017 we carried out a site visit at the Wellbeing Centre to talk to patients and find out what is working well and what needs to be improved.

People told us that they were very glad to see the centre’s doors open and were particularly pleased with the art therapy provided, as well as praising the staff at the centre.

We made recommendations for improvements based on what people using the centre told us, including improving availability of healthy and savoury snacks and using the former chapel for meditation/relaxation type therapies.

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