New service for over 65s can benefit survivors

My Care, My Way is a new service for the over-65s

with benefits for cancer survivors

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Anyone, over 65,  who tries to negotiate the minefield that is post cancer care should ask if My Care, My Way system is available yet in their area.  Designed for the over-65s with two or more medical conditions (that’s definitely many of us!), talking to cancer patients in London who have landed up in its net, it is WORKING well for them.  After pilots in areas around Britain, it is hoped to be rolled out in other areas.

How it started

A Minister had a light-bulb moment; these usually cause a lot of extra work for staff, plus extra expense, and generally fizzle out without trace.  But this one has survived, possibly because some strong-willed patients helped set it up, and talking to London cancer survivors who use the service, they are delighted with it.

As Sally says, “trying to co-ordinate referral letters, appointments in different hospitals, prescriptions and all the other appointments we have to tie up when sorting out post cancer treatment was a total nightmare. When my GP told me someone was going to contact me from My Care, My Way I just thought this would be another waste of time.

What a surprise!  First the Co-ordinator visited me at home.  She came with lots of suggestions:  would I like her to arrange visits to medical professionals?  Could she help by sorting out appointments, referral letters, etc?  I couldn’t believe this was happening, and that anything would come of it.”

But gradually things are getting sorted.  She has arranged for the District Nurse to come and give Sally injections, after she was housebound with broken bones (Osteoporosis), sorted out referral letters, and introduced Sally to several helpful local services  Sally says it feels as if a weight has been lifted off her shoulders: here is someone who can bring together all the different threads that make up her follow-up path.

Even better, Sally says there is a trial in her area, offering massage sessions in the home.  She signed up, and has had two sessions of a course of six, and hopes this is proven to be a success as she enjoys it enormously. The therapist tells Sally she may be able to continue with massages, by paying a subsidised rate.

Although cancer survivors often want massage, and would benefit from this, it is difficult to find fully qualified practitioners – so having My Care, My Way choose someone with the right qualifications means Sally knows they are fully qualified, and says she is more than happy to pay a subsidised rate.

Arranging Podiatry appointments in my area of London used to be a nightmare, but thanks to this system I now go to Violet Melchett Clinic for a session, and the wonderful Podiatrist books the next appointment whilst I am there. Why couldn’t we do this before – My Care, My Way has got it sorted!

So Sally, and I, and others are finding it works!  Let’s hope the service continues! 

P.S. I needed physiotherapy, so phoned our wonderful co-ordinator to know if I can have this at home.  She is going to introduce her to a scheme run by Age UK. I would never have heard about this under the ‘old’ scheme.


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