Telephone Advice Line
This is often a patient’s first point of contact with Cancer Help. The help and advice lline offers advice, advocacy and support for the cancer patient and his/her carer. On analysis, the volume and variety of calls is considerable, with information requested on cancer diseases; treatment; pain control; disease progression; communication with health/social professionals; complementary therapies; and benefits/financial advice.
It is obvious that patients and relatives experience difficulties in obtaining information about the nature of the disease; the expected course of events; treatment, and the effects of the treatment. It is also clear that many people are unaware of the complex array of services, both statutory and voluntary, upon which they may call.
The aims of the help and advice line are:
- To reduce stress/anxiety.
- To inform patients/relatives.
- To encourage participation in decision making.
- To facilitate self-help/encourage group support.
- To provide an advocacy service.
The help and advice sought may include:
- Disease, treatment, side effects and prognosis.
- Pain/symptom control.
- Domiciliary visits.
- Appointments brought forward as disease progresses.
- Contact/Provision of transport to the Christie Hospital.
- Practical/Financial advice.
- Local/National Support Groups.
- Provision of Complementary Therapies.
- Dietetic advice.
- Day Care facilities.
- Psychological support.
Trained volunteers answer the telephone, but do not give medical advice. All calls are confidential, recorded, and referred for action by the multi-professional team.