Friday 30th September 2016
Mac Voice, the magazine for Macmillan professionals: Autumn 2016
Below we highlight examples of the various online help you could signpost people you support to at different times in their cancer journey: Diagnosis, During treatment, Living with cancer and At the end of life
You can adapt this timeline for different situations – there are plenty of additional and alternative options for different cancer diagnoses or experiences.
When someone has been diagnosed, you could suggest they may like to join the Online Community, specifically groups related to their cancer type or situation. Our Online Community is one of the foundations of our digital services. It provides a 24/7 source of anonymous emotional support, connection to others who've gone through the same experiences, and practical information. The Community has more than 100,000 members now, so users are likely to be able to connect with others who've gone through the same experiences, and find practical information, too. It was redesigned in 2015 and now provides easier navigation and quicker routes to favourite groups, and performs brilliantly on mobile devices.
One of its popular newer features is 'Ask the expert', in which people affected by cancer can post a question to 'Ask a nurse' or 'Ask a benefits advisor', and have an answer posted within 24 hours. Teams of professionals like you field the questions. From January to April this year, 682 questions were posted and answered, and 21,258 people viewed the answers.
Show the person you support a video
We have a broad range of videos for different cancer types and audiences, including case studies, animations, and British Sign Language videos. These include personal stories from people living with different cancer types and videos featuring professionals.
Do they have children they need to speak to about their diagnosis?
Our online Talking to children about cancer information may help.
Money and cancer information
People living with cancer and their carers may have immediate money worries. Our online section walks visitors to the section through the different grants and financial assistance that may be available to them.
As a professional, you can refer people to the financial guidance service through an online form and checklist.
My Cancer Treatment is a website built and managed in partnership between Macmillan and NHS England. Using data from the National Peer Review Programme, it gives people living with cancer information on how their local hospital's cancer care team compares with all other teams in England, and how they've performed against national averages on a range of measures.
The electronic Holistic Needs Assessment (eHNA)
The eHNA is transforming care teams' ability to identify all the concerns and potential support needs of people who've been diagnosed, and create a care plan designed to meet those needs when they appear.
You can point the relatives and friends of people you support towards The Source – a place for people to search for or share tips so they can be there for someone they know with cancer. The Source is a collection of simple, practical tips posted to the site by people who've been affected by cancer. The strategy behind it is to connect with people who haven't experienced Macmillan in any way but who have friends living with cancer, giving them tips for reaching out to those people living with cancer.
The tips have translated extremely well to social media. Posted tips on Facebook and Twitter had 9.3 million views in 2015, with more than 235,000 engagements.
Fatigue diary download
Cancer-related fatigue usually gets better after treatment finishes but, for some people, it continues for months or years. People may find it helpful to keep this fatigue diary, to help explain to doctors about how it affects their life. Each day, users put a cross in the box that relates to their energy level on a scale of one to six.
Pain diary download
People may find it helpful to keep this pain diary, to help explain to doctors about how it affects their life.
Information to help people manage breathlessness.
My Organiser is a super-helpful app that gives people living with cancer an easy way to keep track of things such as symptoms, food intake, appointments, medication (with reminder settings) and appointments. It also allows them to store important contacts and get in touch with Macmillan for more support. It's a free download on the Android and Apple app stores, and was downloaded 6,708 times in 2015, with more than 177,000 page views.
Is your patient part of the LGBT community?
If you feel unsure or embarrassed about what to say without fear of causing offence, we have practical guidance for professionals on supporting lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people with cancer.
Financial support tool
Our interactive Financial Support Tool includes a benefits checker and an inheritance tax calculator, alongside videos and information about personal finance issues such as mortgages, savings, wills, insurance and budgeting. In the six months covering quarter four of 2015 and quarter one of 2016, the Financial Support Tool had 4,539 people visit 8,274 times, with 27,963 pageviews. The number of pages per visit is 3.38 – a high stat.
Information about coping with the emotional effects of cancer.
Information in other languages and formats
Our information can help people with different needs and preferences, including British Sign Language videos, braille, large print and easy read booklets.
After cancer treatment downloadable guides
There is one guide for your patients and one for you as a professional.
The person you support, or their relatives and friends, may feel compelled to fundraise for Macmillan through a challenge event.
Did you know that our In your area section brings Macmillan to people where they live by aggregating five sets of data? Users can easily filter the data to find benefits advisors, Macmillan information centres, selfhelp and support groups, fundraising events and volunteering opportunities near them.
Advanced cancer information
Our online information looks at ways to cope with symptoms, side effects and the emotional impact of advanced cancer.
Caring for someone with advanced cancer video
Former Macmillan CEO Ciarán Devane talks about his experiences as a carer.
Our online information for grieving relatives and friends can help people cope with bereavement, provides information and practical advice and, when they are ready, offer ways to celebrate the life of their loved one.
Continue reading this issue of Sharing Good Practice
How digital services can help you and those you support
Case study - Debbie Provan
Case study - Mandy Trickett
Digital support - Further reading