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The Story of The Cove
Every year, more than 3,300 people in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly are told that they have cancer. With a huge increase in these numbers anticipated by 2030, thousands more local people may end up feeling isolated and alone, both while they are receiving treatment and after treatment ends. We have to take action now to make sure we can be there to help solve these issues. The treatment facilities in Cornwall are good, but it is one of only a few counties where there is no one place for people to receive much-need cancer support and information and this is not fair.
Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust serves a population of approximately 420,000 from across Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. It is the main provider of specialist healthcare in the area. Each year, nearly 13,000 people are referred to the hospital with a suspected cancer, and there are nearly 22,000 people living with cancer in the county. Most shocking of all is the fact that the incidence of cancer in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly is 26% higher than the national average . But there is no formal centre providing support and information for people who are worried about cancer, patients, their families, carers or staff anywhere in Cornwall, one of the only counties in England where this is the case.
In 2010, a survey of cancer patients in Cornwall found that a fifth were confused by the verbal information they were given about their cancer and its treatment, and of those who did understand it, one in four found the language used ‘too medical’
Local people are telling us that the clinical treatment and care they are receiving is good, but that there is just no dedicated facility for the vital support that is also necessary to continue to live well during and after a cancer diagnosis. We plan to change that. By providing support such as further information about the cancer and its treatment, or help with the financial impact of cancer, or assistance with coping with the emotional effects of a cancer diagnosis. But we can only do it with your help.
When you are diagnosed with cancer it isn’t just the medical aspects of care that are important. Cancer impacts on every part of life, and so people need support with financial, emotional and practical issues. The Cove Macmillan Support Centre will mean that people have one place to come for if they need support.
This dedicated support and information centre will provide a warm, confidential and welcoming environment. Here people can learn more about their cancer, its treatments and impact on everyday life, as well as the emotional and financial help available. By gaining access to a wide range of information, and being able to speak to someone, people will feel more able to cope with their cancer experience.
We feel strongly that no one should face cancer alone. That’s why this new service is so important to make sure that the right support is available, in a beautiful building with landscaped gardens near where medical treatments are provided. We have worked with patients and relatives to identify the facilities that are important to them all, such as comfy chairs, somewhere to have a drink and relax between appointments, facilities for complimentary therapies and space to rest and relax.
By creating the new centre, we will bring many services together for the first time. These services will include:
• Information provision for anyone with questions about cancer to access the information they need in an appropriate format for them-this could be asking questions, picking up leaflets, look at the Macmillan website
• Welfare benefits advice available to help with the cost of cancer
• Counseling support for people who are struggling to cope with a diagnosis
• Complementary therapies as these help manage the side effects of treatment
• Help with self-image, self-esteem and confidence, such as wig and prosthesis fitting and Look Good, Feel Better sessions.
• Activity programmes, health & wellbeing clinics and other initiatives to support
• Drop-in sessions with specialist dieticians, as nutrition is important
• Creative therapies such as music and art therapy
• Teenage and young adult room
People affected by cancer in Cornwall need this new centre as soon as possible. We would like it to be open by 2016 so we can really be there for everyone with cancer during the toughest fight most of us will ever face. We don’t think anyone should feel alone while receiving their treatment.
Macmillan has already committed £1.8 million to this project from funds already raised thanks to the previous generosity of the Cornish and British public. But we now need to raise an additional £1 million to ensure that people with cancer in Cornwall are able to access the dedicated, high-quality, support facilities that they need. The people of Cornwall cannot wait any longer for this vitally needed centre.
But we can’t do it without you. Please play your part in creating this outstanding new community facility. More than one in three of us will get cancer. No one should have to face it alone. And with your support, no one will.