Tuesday 29th September 2015
Mac Voice, the magazine for Macmillan professionals: Autumn 2015
Sarah Grant on developing a therapeutic beauty, nail, hair and skincare programme
The Sir Robert Ogden Macmillan Centre opened in March 2014, offering day-case chemotherapy and supportive well-being services.
One aspect of my role at the centre is to develop supportive local services. People have told us they wish to access services on their doorstep, regardless of where they are having treatment, in order to reduce the burdens of added travel and extra costs. Visible side effects are a major concern for many people following cancer treatment and we realised, by partnering with our high street Boots store, we could offer local support with these issues.
Discussion with Boots
An initial meeting with our local Boots store and No7 managers enabled the creation of our own programme. Over four sessions, women affected by the side-effects of chemotherapy and radiotherapy are offered expert advice and practical support for nails, skin, hair and make-up.
The two-hour sessions are held monthly for a maximum of 12 women at a time, and offer flexibility for people to dip in or out as they wish.
We are also looking to develop a programme purely for men, which will focus more on skin and nail care.
Two No7 beauty advisors from the store had already trained as Boots Macmillan beauty advisors when we started discussions, and there was a commitment for others to join them. The training, undertaken online and then face-to-face with both Macmillan and No7 trainers, was comprehensive and prepared the team for in-store consultations. However, I was conscious that our particular programme might bring up more complex clincial issues and the emotional impact of possible disclosures. Following discussion with the Boots advisors and our Macmillan partnership services manager, we delivered a simple education session for the beauticians to address this, focusing on:
- common side effects of chemotherapy and radiotherapy
- the risk of infection for people having chemotherapy and warning signs to be aware of
- communication skills and confidentiality
- professional boundary setting, signposting, and raising concerns.
The training later proved invaluable during a particularly emotionally-charged session. A short period of reflection and discussion time is now offered to the beauty advisors at the end of each session. I factiliate this, or the chemotherapy unit sister does in my absence.
Outcomes and feedback
The programme is just reaching the end of a successful first year. Each session is evaluated and the data collected has formulated part of the annual report and Macmillan service review. Comments from participants have included: ‘Thoroughly enjoyed this session, it has given me a pick-me-up tonic I needed’. We are planning to increase the frequency of the sessions from monthly to fortnightly.
For more information about the partnership between Boots and Macmillan in general, or for contact details of trained Boots No7 Macmillan Beauty Advisors in your area, please email the Boots Macmillan team.
Macmillan Patient Information and Health & Wellbeing Manager
The Sir Robert Ogden Macmillan Centre
01423 55 7317