The Macmillan Information and Support Centre Team at Chesterfield Royal Hospital’s NGS Macmillan Unit have come up with a digital solution to help patients access the Centre services.

They have launched a new app, prompted by the continued lockdown and advice for people to stay at home, to enable cancer patients, their family and carers to access their services without having to make a journey to see them.

Dawn Warrington is the Macmillan Information and Support Centre Lead, she said: “When the centre had to close during the first lockdown it was evident that we needed to look at delivering our service in a different way.

“We looked at producing an App to create what amounted to a virtual extension of our Centre. Through the App, we offer a different platform of communication where we can raise the engagement and awareness of the centre services and support that is available to anyone affected by cancer.”

It’s easy to access the app which can be found in the Android and Apple app stores. You just need to search and download the Healthzone UK App, type ‘crh-cancerapp’ into the apps search engine and you will be able to access the Information and support centre app.

The app content has sections aimed at patients, carers and professionals. It covers a wide range of topics such as information book downloads, advice on getting help with financial concerns, advice on hair loss and how to access a wig and what services are available in the community to help and support our patients. 

There is also a top tips area with suggestions on how to cope with different concerns such as taste changes, sleep and cancer related fatigue. There’s a media section with links to local and national information and support areas that can be accessed and a podcast section covering diagnosis, work and cancer and treatable but not curable cancer.

They have also included a video area where you can find a range of information features that our teams have created in-house. These include what to expect when visiting the hospital following referral from the GP, information about certain procedures or investigations alongside videos on cancer treatments and headwear tutorials too.

There has been patient and carer involvement as well, Rebecca Cowley is Chesterfield Royal Hospitals Carer Liaison Officer, she said: “I’m really, really impressed with this app. It’s clean, bright and very easy to navigate and is such a useful tool for carers to be able to find out more advice and support for them and their loved one. There are so many services moving their information and support online so it’s great to see the Royal not only keeping up but providing a resource that matches the information on offer at the centre.”

A Patient Representative said: “I've looked at the Health Zone app and was very impressed at how easy it was to download and how well it works. The information there is of a very high quality, well targeted at Cancer patients in Chesterfield and the way it’s organised helps people to look at one section at a time without being overwhelmed.

“I especially like the 'contacts' tab that enables you to call all the nurse specialists directly or national helplines, as well as Ashgate Hospice and Weston Park. It’s all excellent and a great resource for those who need it.”

Click here to download a flyer to advertise the app.