Macmillan has joined forces with Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust to make improvements for people affected by cancer across North West London. One way we're doing this is through a new role: Macmillan Navigators.
The role of a Macmillan Navigator is to act as a single point of contact via telephone for cancer patients, from the point of diagnosis to the end of treatment. Our aim is to create a more streamlined service and positive experience for the patient.
They will be able to answer questions, make referrals as needed and help patients and carers find local support services. This telephone service also reduces pressures for clinical nurse specialists, so they can focus on the more complex and specialised areas of patient care they're trained for.
Di Dunn is Lead Cancer Nurse at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust. She told us that, 'The service can assist with anything from appointments to information about other services available for patients, and also ensure access to clinical nurse specialists for any clinical concerns'.
Lorraine McDonald is one of the new Macmillan Navigators. 'Previously a lot of patients have spoken about their exasperations and frustrations at talking to answer machines and trying to navigate their way through the internal workings of a hospital,' she explained. This role greatly diminishes these additional stresses during what is already an emotionally and physically difficult time.
As for the best part of the job, Lorraine says: 'I suppose it's the chance to make a real difference to patients quite quickly. We've had an overwhelmingly positive response from patients, despite it being a relatively new service.'
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