A major initiative is underway to transform how and where cancer patients and their families access information locally.
The Northern Health and Social Care Trust is working in partnership with Macmillan Cancer Support and Libraries NI on the project.
The Northern Trust Macmillan Information and Support Manager, Nuala McErlain, will be in local libraries to disseminate the vital information.
Patients, family members or carers will be able to access high quality, reliable information in their own local libraries, which form part of the communities in which those with a cancer diagnosis live.
Nuala will be available in some libraries over the next few months for patients and their families to go along and have a chat with.
She can provide written information about the different aspects of living with a cancer diagnosis: for example, different types of cancer, finances and benefits, information about travel insurance and cancer, or support for carers, as well as signposting to local services that are available for people living within the Trust, such as Macmillan Cancer Support benefits service, complementary therapies, support groups etc.
Currently, patients are given information when they attend the hospital. The Northern Trust, working in partnership with Macmillan and Libraries NI, is seeking to transform how information is made available to those they care for through their cancer journey, by having information available in areas where people feel comfortable accessing it.
Public libraries are situated in the heart of the community and are therefore in the ideal locations as they are widespread throughout Northern Ireland. They offer a mobile service to those who are housebound and helping to make information freely available to all.
Pat McClelland, Cancer Services Manager for the Northern Trust, said: “We understand that a diagnosis of cancer can be very frightening for patients and their families. Having information readily available can help in gaining understanding about the type of cancer and what to expect from treatment.
“We in the Northern Trust are committed to providing easily accessible, relevant, timely information, advice and support for our patients and their families, and are therefore delighted to be working with Macmillan and Libraries NI to improve access to information to our patients as close to their homes as possible.”
Anyone who would like any information about what is available to cancer patients, their carers and family members should contact Nuala McErlain on 0289442400 ext 333079, or mobile 07795845435.