Southport and Formby Cancer Information and Support Centre on Stanley Street, Southport are re-opening its doors to provide residents affected by cancer with face-to-face, COVID safe support following the recent easing of lockdown restrictions.
The team at the centre – a partnership between Macmillan Cancer Support and NHS Southport and Formby Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) – has put measures in place so that it can safely resume services for patients and staff.
This means that there are some changes to the way the service is delivered. Initially, there will only be pre-bookable appointments available. The team will be continually reviewing guidance so that the drop-in service, support groups, courses and events will also resume as soon as it is safe to do so.
To protect staff, volunteers and service users, a simple health questionnaire and temperature check will be carried out before anyone enters the centre. In addition, unless there is a medical reason why it is not possible, visitors and staff will be required to wear a disposable mask or face covering of their own. All rooms that are used in the centre comply with the 2-metre social distancing guidance. The centre will be thoroughly cleaned at the start and end of each day and all tables, chairs and used areas will be wiped down after each person has left.
Dr Graeme Allan, Macmillan GP and cancer clinical lead at NHS Southport and Formby CCG, said: “We know that there has been a sharp drop in the number of patients referred for cancer investigations and appointments during the pandemic. We understand that some people may be concerned about visiting their GP with symptoms or attending hospital for a cancer referral appointment. Strict infection control procedures and video and phone consultations have been introduced in GP practices to ensure the safety of patients and staff. It is vital that people contact their GP if they have any signs or symptoms of cancer because early diagnosis saves lives.
“It’s brilliant to see the Southport and Formby Cancer Information and Support Centre re-open, we know that coronavirus means people living with cancer need help now more than ever. The centre has increased the number of counseling sessions so that the trained and experienced staff can provide more vital emotional support to people with cancer locally.”
Tanya Mulvey, manager at Southport Cancer Information and Support Centre, said: “We know that the last few months have been incredibly difficult for people affected by cancer and although we have been offering telephone support (which we’ll continue to do), we know that seeing someone face-to-face is far preferable for many people. Sadly, we will not be able to hold your hand or hug you – but the welcome will be just as warm as it ever was, and we’ll do our very best to help and support you.
“We will be continually reviewing our services against evolving guidance and hope that we will be able to return to our normal service provision as soon as possible.”
To find out about the support available and to book an appointment, please call the Centre on 07947 630654 (Monday to Friday, 10am to 4pm). For more information about the Southport and Formby Cancer Information and Support Centre, visit: https://southportmacmillancentre.org.uk/