Primary Care Wirral are working in partnership with Wirral University Teaching Hospital (WUTH) in an initiative to increase physical activity levels for cancer patients.
The new Cancer Physical Activity Practitioner will support GPs in providing non-medical and lifestyle support for Wirral patients before and after cancer treatment or surgery.
This role “will help to improve the patient journey, making their transition from primary to secondary care as seamless as possible, and improve the outcomes for our patients living with cancer”, said Dr Jennifer Modi, Macmillan Lead GP at Sunlight Group Practice.
Aiding Cancer Recovery
Research into patient recovery shows that being physically active following treatment can reduce the chances of cancer returning from between 40-60%, with prehabilitation exercise plans also reducing the length of hospital stays.
PCW Social Prescribing Operations Manager and project coordinator, Lucy Holmes, is confident the new Cancer Physical Activity Practitioner role can transform care provision for cancer patients.
“Physical activity is being called a ‘Wonder Drug’ in cancer recovery. It can reduce secondary cancers by up to 60%, lessen treatment side effects and help patients take control of their lives.
“I am excited by the impact this role will have within PCW, as it will offer a more holistic and personalised approach to cancer recovery.
“The role will not only deliver Macmillan exercise classes, it will support GPs in delivering Cancer Care reviews and provide insights on patient lifestyle and social elements relating to recovery.”
Tailored Home Workouts
Encouraging patients to continue to, or become, active before/after cancer treatment is at the core of this multifaceted approach, with plans including a range of exercises to help patients remain mentally and physically well.
In order to facilitate access, particularly for patients in self-isolation, Lucy Holmes and PCW Cancer Physical Activity Practitioner ,Georgina Hannaway, have created a 30 minute low to medium home workout designed for people awaiting or recovering from cancer surgery.
The training consists of full body and mobility exercises aimed at preparing patients for treatment/operation and help them return back to their daily activities as soon as possible.
Support available for all Wirral patients
The service is funded by Arrowe Park Hospital/WUTH and is available to all PCNs and practices which require specialised patient support, when referred on by WUTH.
For further information, please contact Lucy Holmes on [email protected].