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I recently took some time to have a cup of tea and chat with the Macmillan Lung Cancer Nurses and Support Workers at Leighton Hospital, Crewe to find out more about the vital role they play for individuals diagnosed with lung cancer and mesothelioma in our local area.
For myself, as a Solicitor who helps individuals and their families to claim compensation for asbestos related lung cancers, I wanted to see whether there was anything I could do to help promote the fantastic service that the Macmillan nurses provide.
The Macmillan nurses are experienced nurses with specialist training; they provide support and advice to both the patient and their relatives/carers from their initial appointment through to living with and beyond their cancer diagnosis.
Dealing with a diagnosis can be very difficult and can raise many concerns. The Macmillan nurses can help in answering questions about the diagnosis and the treatments available, offering both face to face and telephone support.
The nurses are experienced at symptom management and will help to find the best way to manage symptoms effectively to improve quality of life.
The nurses offer guidance on claiming benefits and making a civil claim for compensation where there is a suggestion that the cancer may have been caused by exposure to asbestos. They can signpost people to ensure that they receive the best advice from legal experts.
As well as playing an important role at Leighton Hospital, the Macmillan nurses also hold a monthly Lung Cancer Social /Support group called “Catch your Breath.” These are held at Crewe Fire Station and Northwich Fire Station alternately on the 4th Wednesday of the month from 13-30 to 15-30. No appointment needed. These meetings are a valuable opportunity for local people to meet and socialise. There is usually a guest speaker to discuss topics that are of interest to the members. A Macmillan nurse is always present at each meeting to address any concerns. However there is no expectation to discuss anything medical, it’s an opportunity to take some time out of the house and benefit from peer support.
It was clear to me whilst meeting with the Macmillan nurses that they have a wealth of experience and knowledge relating to lung cancer. For me personally, I enjoy listening to people who are passionate about the work they do and the Macmillan nurses are definitely passionate about helping people.
I cannot begin to imagine the emotions that an individual must feel when they receive a diagnosis of lung cancer, however it is reassuring to know that here at Leighton Hospital, people have access to such a supportive team who they can turn to in their hour of need.
Thank you to Jo, Lynn and Sharon for taking time out of their busy day to meet me.
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