New Cancer Care Navigator scheme launches

A new support service to provide additional practical and emotional support to cancer patients, carers and companions has gone live at NNUH.

The Cancer Care Navigator project will help people affected by cancer with their non-clinical needs.

Our three new Cancer Care Navigators are Chantelle Gale, Megan Harmer and Sami Walker-Sloss who have worked in various roles in the NHS and have completed a Foundation Degree in Health and Social Studies.

Teams at NNUH, James Paget University Hospital and Queen Elizabeth Hospital King’s Lynn are jointly funded by Macmillan Cancer Support and the Norfolk and Waveney Integrated Care System to ensure that every person affected by cancer can access support, which might not necessarily be related to their medical care.

The service aims to complement the work of the clinical teams and Cancer Nurse Specialists and the team is looking to expand by recruiting more Cancer Care Navigators to answer patient queries and carry out Holistic Needs Assessments (HNA).

Rachel Casey, Macmillan Personalised Care Lead, said: “We are thrilled to be launching this new service to provide additional support to the more than 6,000 patients who are diagnosed with cancer at NNUH every year.  It is important that we empower our patients during a difficult time to seek support and information on issues that matter most to them.”

“The navigators will proactively contact patients around 21 days after they have received their diagnosis to complete a HNA, we will provide them with our contact number so they can contact us at any time for information or support on practical, emotional or spiritual concerns.”

A ‘navigator’ is one of a series of healthcare professionals who complement the work of specialist cancer nurses by helping to coordinate a patient’s all-round care. Support could include signposting to services for issues such as how to talk to family members about cancer, financial concerns, practical issues such as transport and shopping and health and wellbeing advice. The initial conversation also gives those affected by cancer, the time and space to raise any concerns or questions they might have.

Megan added: “As part of our induction we have all spent time on the Weybourne Day Unit and the feedback from patients has been very positive and we can help patients with concerns about finances or work worries. Patients and carers are grateful that there is someone to talk to if they have concerns.”

The service is open 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday and can be contacted on 01603 647175 or by email

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