The Macmillan Social Prescribing service, in partnership with the Bromley by Bow Centre, provides personalised, one-to-one support to people living with and beyond cancer to overcome practical issues and improve their wellbeing.
With increased diagnoses and longer survival for cancer patients, long term management is becoming more important. 64% of people living with cancer have practical or personal support needs, and 78% have emotional support needs; the majority (75%) of which say that these needs are caused by their cancer or cancer treatment. Yet many do not get the support they need to live as well as possible in their homes.
The Macmillan Social Prescribing service is a two year pilot, launched in September 2015, and delivered in partnership by Macmillan Cancer Support and the Bromley by Bow Centre. The service is available to cancer patients and survivors aged 18 and over who live in Tower Hamlets, Newham, Waltham Forest or City and Hackney. It can be accessed by referral through GP practices, hospitals, community organisations and self-referral.
The service is provided by experienced professionals based in the community who work with people affected by cancer to explore and define what is important to them, identify the local activities and resources they need and gain support to engage with these services. The service can provide support over the phone to identify local activities and support services, or can offer a series of face-to-face appointments over a six month period at venues in each borough.
The type of local activities that people may be helped to access include:
- health and wellbeing programmes (e.g. walking groups, meditation groups and complimentary therapies)
- work and volunteering advice (e.g. local employment support services)
- learning and social opportunities (e.g. art classes, gardening groups and faith groups)
- practical support (e.g. debt/welfare advice and money management workshops)
- support groups (e.g. parent and carer groups and cancer support groups)