MACMILLAN is to fund a £500,000 ‘holistic’ health pilot to support people who are newly diagnosed or living with cancer in Tameside.
Health chiefs have welcomed the ‘Right By You’ scheme, which will also offer help to the families of those fighting the disease.
Working in collaboration with the NHS, the charity has committed to provide funding to establish a community-based service for people with cancer in the Tameside and Glossop commissioning area.
Speaking at a meeting of the strategic commissioning board, cabinet member for health Councillor Eleanor Wills said it was a “good news story”.
“Anybody with a cancer diagnosis would be referred into the service, and a programme of support is built in with that service around the person that lasts around 16 weeks,” she said.
“It’s just another resource for us to help people within the community who are dealing with a cancer diagnosis, I think it’s very positive that we’ve got that here in Tameside.”
Committee chair Dr Ashwin Ramachandra told members that he strongly supports the initiative.
“Getting cancer is one of the critical times of any person’s life and any support we can give to a patient is very important, and this should help them,” he said.
To be spent over two years, the £501,000 project will launch in April next year.
Macmillan Cancer Support will fund a cancer community link worker in each of the five health neighbourhoods, and a service manager role.
Everyone who receives a diagnosis of cancer through the Tameside and Glossop integrated care foundation trust (ICFT) will be offered a referral into the programme.
If they accept, officers say that patients will be visited from one of the new link workers at a place and time most convenient to them.
At the meeting they will discuss “worries, goals and plans”, and ways to support their wellbeing.
Support is expected to last around four months on average, but it will stay open to everyone referred into it until they feel they no longer need it.
Director of commissioning Jessica Williams said: “It will be looking to provide support specifically for people affected by cancer, also indeed for their relatives as well.
“I could not recommend this highly enough. I think this is an excellent way forward.”
Lay member Carol Prowse added: “I think it’s a great example of partnership working with the voluntary sector and I like the holistic approach to it.”