Patient self-help project launched at The Mill, St Catherine’s Park
A new patient education programme is being launched at the community hub connected to St Catherine’s Hospice this May – offering those living with cancer practical advice and support on how to effectively manage fatigue.
The Mill in St Catherine’s Park, the cafe and community hub which operates as a social enterprise supporting the work of St Catherine’s Hospice, will be the venue for the STREAM project, focused on managing stress and anxiety and promoting relaxation in patients with cancer.
The hospice is working with the North West Fatigue Clinic to deliver the programme, which is open to all those with cancer in Central Lancashire, not just those with a palliative diagnosis.
It aims to empower people to live better with their condition by informing them about triggers and symptoms, and equipping them with practical coping strategies such as breathing techniques, meditation and mindfulness.
Sessions will be delivered by specialist occupational therapists and will take place upstairs at The Mill on a weekly basis for four weeks. The first programme begins on May 6th with further planned in June, September and November.
Lesley Pickering, one of the occupational therapists from the North West Fatigue Clinic delivering the programme, said: “Cancer affects people in many different ways, causing lots of different symptoms, but what can be a common problem for many is the fatigue that the illness and its associated treatments can cause.
“What we mean by fatigue is extreme tiredness which is not improved with rest, and this can cause lots of other issues such as a lack of concentration and difficulty doing even the smallest activities, problems sleeping, feeling more emotional than usual, and difficulty thinking clearly and making decisions.
“What the Stream project will do is equip people with the practical knowledge and skills to help them manage these symptoms themselves at home. Patients will be supported and encouraged to continue to practice the techniques taught at the sessions using an audio resource, handouts and action plans.
“The aim is to improve both the physical and psychological symptoms of fatigue, and in turn help local people living with cancer enjoy a better quality of life.”
Lynn Kelly, Director of Knowledge Exchange at St Catherine’s Hospice who has developed the partnership with the North West Fatigue Clinic, said she was delighted to be working with them to broaden access to support for local people via The Mill.
She said: “One of the key ideas behind The Mill, along with being a welcoming cafe open to all, was to become a community hub providing support, information and therapies for local people affected by serious illness.
“By teaming up with the North West Fatigue Clinic to offer this important self-help programme, we are widening our reach to other patients who would benefit from support, beyond the scope of our formal hospice services.
“We are sure the techniques taught will prove extremely useful for those living with cancer in our community, and look forward to using the feedback from the first cohorts this year to plan and develop further services of this type for local people in the future.”
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