Patients and visitors to Fairfield General who are affected by cancer, can more easily seek support from Macmillan Information & Support Specialists with any queries or concerns they have.
Sitting in the outpatients’ department on the hospital’s ground floor, the distinctive green pod is a new and confidential space where patients, carers or relatives can talk to a member of Macmillan Cancer’s Information and Support Service about a range of emotional, financial or practical matters relating to a cancer diagnosis.
Sarah Plant, Macmillan Information and Support Deputy Manager for Bury, Oldham, Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale, said: “We welcome people calling into the pod to see us whether they have a cancer diagnosis or whether they’re a carer or family member of someone who has.
“People may just want someone to talk to or need access to counselling to help them come to terms with a diagnosis. We also have a huge database of charities we can refer to as needed.”
The Macmillan pod is a starting point for people needing support, which means more detailed conversations follow this first contact, to ensure confidentiality.
Sarah said: “For those visiting the pod in person, we get an understanding of what’s needed, before taking basic details and arranging a time to chat more fully – it’s important that we protect people’s confidentiality.”
Staff members are encouraged to refer cancer patients and patients’ relatives to the pod team, who also visit wards when needed.
Sarah said: “Staff members may see a patient who could really do with our help but who may not be mobile enough to make their own way to the pod. Colleagues are welcome to bring to patients to us but we’re more than happy to visit patients on wards too.”
Although a non-clinical service, the Macmillan pod team has close links with clinical colleagues and will refer refer any clinical concerns a patient or a family member has around cancer, to the nursing team.
Anyone visiting outside opening hours can start getting information and support by using their mobile phone to scan QR codes displayed on the outside of the pod.
The Macmillan pod is open from 9am to 4pm (excluding bank holidays). Alternatively, call 0161 656 1026 or email Macmillan.firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Macmillan Information and Support Service is based at the Royal Oldham Hospital, with plans underway for a new centre where the team can provide face-to-face support in a calm, relaxed non-clinical environment.
But the Fairfield pod will remain in place offering convenient and speedier support to those who are unable to easily get to Oldham.