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In partnership with Macmillan Cancer Support, Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust has unveiled a new cancer information and support area at Tunbridge Wells Hospital.

The support pod at the main entrance of the hospital, was unveiled on the 29th July by Miles Scott, CEO of Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust, Greg Clark, MP for Tunbridge Wells, and Sharon Middleton, Partnership Manager for Macmillian Caner Support in Kent and Medway.

The pod was created as part of a joint project with Macmillan Cancer support who supported the building costs. It will provide a confidential drop-in service for anyone affected by cancer living in West Kent, offer  free literature on all aspects of living with cancer, advice, referrals to other available support and the opportunity to discuss treatments, side effects and other cancer related issues.

Miles said: “This service is an important addition to our hospital as it provides  valuable information for not only our patients, but  anyone affected by cancer living in West Kent.

The pod will also give people the opportunity to talk to someone in a private, comfortable area and access information relating to cancer. This includes information on treatments they are currently receiving or are due to receive, side effects and support groups they can attend. This is great resource that we hope will help all who use it.”

MP for Tunbridge Wells, Greg Clark, said: “This is a fantastic new resource for patients and their families.  To be able to drop in and have an informal chat with staff from Macmillan Cancer Support – without having to make an appointment – is brilliant.”

Since the opening of the information pod the response from patients has been positive and there have already been many enquiries about services that are available at Tunbridge Wells Hospital and the trained staff and volunteers who have been working at the information pod have been busy providing advice to patients, relatives and even staff.

Pauline Wood, Macmillan Transformational Change Lead, explained the significance of this new addition to the hospital: “We know that the impact of a cancer diagnosis is far reaching, affecting not only the patient but those close to them.

Following a recent Macmillan Cancer Support funded project working with cancer patients and their supporters to better understand their needs and aspirations for a cancer information and support service in Kent and Medway we’re really pleased to be able to have been able to further our collaboration with Macmillan to deliver the first of several recommendations with a designated space at Tunbridge Wells Hospital.

The space will offer support, information and signposting to people affected by cancer as well as people seeking information about cancer screening in an accessible, private and comfortable environment.”