10 May 2012
Teenagers and Young People with Cancer Supported by Generous Donation
University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust (UH
Bristol) has been given £1.08 million from Macmillan Cancer Support
to fund work designed to address the aftercare needs of teenagers
and young people (TYA) with cancer in the South West.
The three year programme of work, called ON TARGET is
supported by Avon, Somerset and Wiltshire Cancer Services Network
and will be delivered by a team at UH Bristol, the principal
treatment centre for TYA with cancer in the South West.
The first stage of the programme will be to work with TYA
patients, their families and professionals involved in their care
to understand their needs and wishes. These findings will then be
evaluated and used to inform the design of specific packages of
care to be introduced to patients as early as possible after
diagnosis. Themes of care packages are likely to be: healthy
lifestyle and physical rehabilitation; education, employment and
finance; emotional and psychological wellbeing; survivor
information and peer support, and parent and carer
Working in collaboration with clinicians already involved
in the care of young people with cancer across the South West, the
programme will be delivered by a multidisciplinary team including a
programme manager, psychologist, occupational therapist,
physiotherapist and care coordinator.
Professor Mike Stevens, director of the ON TARGET team,
says: "When a 17 or 18 year old is first diagnosed with cancer it
radically changes how they look at their life. They can easily
become socially isolated; their body image changes and there is a
major impact on social and sexual relationships and on education
and career plans. The challenge then becomes not just how to give
young people the best chance of a cure, but how also to help them
preserve or redesign their life trajectory.
"The aim of ON TARGET is to create a care system that will
support them towards the achievement of a life as it would have
been lived without the intrusion of cancer, or as the patient has
decided to recreate it after experiencing and assessing the impact
of the diagnosis and its treatment."
The programme will involve patients aged 16 to 24
years with all forms of cancer and lessons learned from the
programme will be used to guide the development of aftercare within
the South West TYA service and will be offered for national
Maggie Crowe, Development Manager for Macmillan, says:
"Macmillan is delighted to be working with this team of experts on
such an exciting programme. Traditional follow up care has not met
the needs of this patient group. By working together with teenagers
and young adults affected by cancer we can enable them to be more
in control of their own needs and follow up."
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