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Interactive screens to provide 24/7 cancer information and support at UHNM

People affected by cancer now have easier access to a range of wellbeing information and practical support at University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust (UHNM).

Four touchscreen digital directories have been installed across the Royal Stoke University Hospital and County Hospital in Stafford.

The directories are available to patients, their loved ones and UHNM staff 24 hours a day and were funded by a grant by the Denise Coates Foundation.

As well as providing mental and emotional wellbeing support for those affected by cancer, the large touchscreens also provide a range of information on practical issues including help with finances, childcare and transport.

There are also links to specialist support groups and therapies as well as support regarding palliative care and bereavement.

Emma Kelly, UHNM Macmillan Cancer Support and Information Centre Manager said: “The touchscreen digital directories are designed to complement the support already provided by the Macmillan Cancer Support and Information Centres at Royal Stoke and County hospitals as well as our clinical teams at UHNM. They can also further support families and loved ones of those who have been admitted as an emergency case and given a cancer diagnosis.

“Our teams are privileged to be able to listen and provide support to patients and loved ones during one of the most stressful times in their life, however we understand from patient feedback that when trying to process a significant amount of information during an extremely vulnerable time such as a new cancer diagnosis, it can feel stressful and overwhelming with many patients telling us they don’t read the information provided.

“Being able to provide practical information to patients and their loved ones gradually at a time that suits them allows them to focus on their immediate concerns, manage stress better, and actively engage in making informed decisions at a time that is right for them.”

The directories consist of 16 key areas of support and information, displaying both local and national services. No patient information is held and they do not require any registration details.

Emma added: “Feedback received so far has been extremely positive. The UHNM Macmillan Cancer Support Team are working hard on improving patient engagement and we’ve seen already that the screens encourage patients and family members to feel more confident and empowered in accessing information for their own individual care needs.

“We are extremely fortunate and grateful to have received funding from the Denise Coates Foundation. This financial contribution has helped us provide a lifeline for many patients and family members and has made a meaningful impact in providing such a valuable resource to those affected by cancer, as well as offer an additional layer of support to our wider team of colleagues.”

The digital directories are located in the entrance to Royal Stoke’s Cancer Centre, Lyme Building with a further screen to be installed in the main reception shortly. Patients at County hospital can access support via the directory at the entrance to the hospital’s oncology unit.