A specialist nurse is putting prostate cancer on the agenda under a new initiative called Back In The Driving Seat.
It is being funded by Prostate Cancer UK and run by nurse Tina Smith at the Hospice of St Francis’ Spring Centre in collaboration with Watford’s Peace Hospice Care, and the programme is specifically designed to support men.
In West Herts, 300 men are newly diagnosed with prostate cancer every year.
Tina will be working alongside men living with the disease and their families to find out what would be most helpful to them to understand and manage their symptoms. A future programme may include clinics offering medical and practical advice, a peer-to-peer support network and support network and specific workshops for men.
In conjunction with Back in the Driving Seat, the charity is also launching the innovative Walnut Programme. Led by the hospice’s director of education, Sarah Russell, this new communication skills programme will work with local prostate cancer support networks, plus men and their families, to design and deliver new models of care to help better communication around the symptoms and practicalities of living with prostate cancer.
Director of nursing at the hospice Alison Allard said: “Being diagnosed with prostate cancer can be bewildering and scary both for the patient and their families.
“There is a mass of evidence that men find it difficult to hold conversations about their symptoms and this prevents them from seeking help both before and after diagnosis.
“Through the generosity of Prostate Cancer UK we are piloting this new dual programme to reach both health care influencers and men with prostate cancer symptoms, with the ultimate aim to empower men to manage their own diagnosis, build resilience and prevent unnecessary deaths.”
Secretary of the Aylesbury Vale Prostate Cancer Support Group, the local group covering Berkhamsted, Roger Wotton said: “We welcome any opportunity to increase support for prostate cancer sufferers.
“This initiative will certainly help and we look forward to working closely with Tina and Sarah to improve the reach and effectiveness of support for men with prostate cancer.”
To find out more email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01442 869556.
The charity has recently launched registration for its Midnight Walk, now in its eighth year.
Fundraisers can complete an 11-mile circular walk from Hemel Hempstead School to Berkhamsted, starting at 9.30pm, or a shorter five mile route.
The walk is open to anyone aged over 11. Registration costs £20 per person, (£15 for U18s).
Visit www.stfrancis.org.uk/midnightwalk for more.