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Cancer psychology pilot project successfully funded for a second year

On Psychological Professions Week 2022, we are absolutely delighted to share that our Clinical Psychology Cancer Service has received further funding from the East Midlands Cancer Alliance to continue our fantastic East Midlands Cancer Alliance Integrated Training and Video Therapy Service (EMCAVS), for another year. This service includes many outstanding psychological professionals who provide a comprehensive, evidenced-based package of support for cancer patients across the region.

The £300,000 of funding has been provided by NHS England East Midlands Cancer Alliance (EMCA) following a successful first year of the pilot project.

The package of support the service offers, includes providing remote video therapy for patients with severe mental health difficulties, as well as high-quality training and supervision to cancer care staff on psychological assessment and intervention skills. Additionally, the service has developed online self-management resources and introduced a novel, smart messaging intervention to reduce drop-out and prevent relapse. This also aims to help patients manage commonly experienced difficulties associated with cancer care, including anxiety, low mood, sleep problems, and pain.

Dr Julie Attfield, Executive Director of Mental Health Services at Nottinghamshire Healthcare said:

“We are absolutely delighted that this important service has been refunded. The service supports patients through a difficult time, which ultimately improves their quality of life.

“Equipping staff with the tools they need to be able to spot the psychological needs of patients early, to ensure they get the right support, is also incredibly important.

“The benefits of the team have been clear to see and we are thrilled they are able to continue to provide this valuable service to patients and staff for another year.”

Evaluation of data from the first year demonstrated the service has been effective in reducing psychological distress and improving quality of life for patients experiencing severe mental health problems. As a result of specialised training and supervision, cancer care staff have described feeling more equipped to identify and intervene with common psychological problems. What is more, staff reported improvements in their own wellbeing following training with reduced chance of work-related burnout.

Sam Malins, Lead Clinical Psychologist for the project said:

“The need for more psychological health provision in cancer care was a key issue identified by the East Midlands Cancer Alliance, so we were delighted to receive the funding for this project and be able to evidence the impact that this kind of service has for patients and staff. It is fantastic news that the project has been re-funded for another year.”

Sarah Hughes, Managing Director of the East Midlands and West Midlands Cancer Alliances, had this to say about the project:

"Cancer not only impacts physically but also mentally on those diagnosed. This project helps to address the psychological issues  and looks to  improve the patients’ quality of life.

"The project demonstrates the importance of holistic support offerings which are accessible to everyone, including those with mental health difficulties.

"I am proud we are able to support Nottinghamshire Healthcare with further funding, so they have the opportunity to help many more patients".

Over the next year, the service is excited to build on the work already completed, expanding training and supervision to more cancer sites, accepting more patient referrals, and developing a larger resource of self-help materials



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