Monthly Archives: December 2016

Maggie’s Centres and the Norfolk & Norwich Hospital’s Cancer Centre

maggies-2The story of Maggie Keswick Jencks

Touring the car-parks looking for a space in a busy cancer hospital will reveal a small modern building set apart in the grounds. This is the Cancer Centre.

Maggie Keswick Jencks was a designer, married to architect and designer Charles Jencks. After being diagnosed with cancer, Maggie worked to create a blueprint for a place for people affected by cancer, different from a traditional hospital.

“Maggie got her diagnosis in a 20-minute slot with her consultant, who then said ‘I’m really sorry, I know it’s terrible news, but I’ve got another patient to see.’ And she was in shock. She got put out into one of these stereotypical corridors with nowhere to sit, and all she wanted was to go and have a cry and take it all in.”

The emergence of a blueprint:

Maggie wanted to have a more human place to absorb what was happenContact care explains Cancer Centresing. Consequently, she thought about what patients and families need during cancer diagnosis and treatment. The brief she came up with is hard to categorise. “So it’s a bit more than a house, but it’s not a house, and it’s into art, but it’s not an art gallery, and it’s kind of spiritual, but it’s not a church, and it’s like a hospital, but it’s not medical.”

So Maggie started something amazing before she died in June 1995. The first Maggie’s Centre opened in Edinburgh in 1996. As a result there are now 15 Centers at major NHS cancer hospitals in the UK.

Norfolk and Norwich Hospital:

At NNUH the Big C Centre follows the same blueprint. So does the Louise Hamilton Centre at James Paget Hospital. Thus, these centers are providing counselling, family therapy, complementary therapies, courses on looking good, feeling good and eating well. All in an airy, light, comfortable environment where you are free to make a cup of tea and relax.

Big C is Norfolk’s Cancer Charity, and you can find them in the grounds of the Norfolk and Norich Hospital. They can offer you:Big C centre Norfolk and Norwich Hospital

Welfare Advice
Look Good Feel Better
Family Therapy
Relaxation Group
Complementary Therapies
Headwear Options
Healthy Matters
Bereavement Support Group
Food and Nutrition Workshops
Carers’ Club
Cancer Information Day – Living Well with and after cancer
The HOPE Course

Kat Navarro

Contact Care Elderly Alarms: covering Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, Cambridgeshire.

Prevent delayed Discharge home from hospital with a Personal Alarm.

elderly_patient_handsThe National Audit Office published its report in May this year. It focused on patients deemed as ‘medically fit for discharge’ but who are stranded in hospital.

Between 2013 and 2015, official delayed transfers of care rose 31%. Consequently, in 2015 delayed discharge accounted for 1.15 million bed days. Most noteworthy, 85% of these patients were aged over 65.

Elderly are more likely to be delayed in getting home from hospital:

Waiting for Social Care was the biggest cause of this sharp rise. Since 2010, waits for Home Care packages have doubled and waits for beds in nursing homes have also increased by 63%. This isn’t surprising given the increasing number of old, frail and medically complex hospital patients, coupled with 10% cuts in real-terms funding for social care over the past five years.

Lifeline Alarms to get you home from hospital:

I have not yet managed to find research quantifying how Lifeline Alarms reduce discharge delays. However, my  regular conversations with OT’s, Discharge Coordinators and patients support the fact. Having a lifeline alarm installed in an elderly patient’s home can get that patient discharged and home from hospital sooner.

We are often asked to install a lifeline ASAP, meeting a family member in the patient’s home to get the lifeline in place so they can come home from hospital later that day. The NNUH provide patients and their relatives with information on Pendant Alarms as part of preparing for discharge.

I have seen many people – tired, frail and leaning on an arm – yet so happy to be back home. Looking forward to a peaceful sleep in their own bed without bells buzzing and other patients calling out. It means so much to both the elderly patient and their relatives to have mum or dad back home and kept safe.

Kat Navarro

Contact Care Telecare Alarm, getting you home sooner

Nuts are not just for Christmas!

nuts-articleI have just got back from my MOT with the nurse: cholesterol and blood-sugar levels were checked, blood pressure taken, BMI recorded. At the end of which the kindly nurse gave me a percentage risk score for developing heart disease or diabetes.

The process got me thinking, so I was particularly interested to then read about nuts reducing the risk of these very conditions.

Recent research shows that eating 28 grams (a handful) of nuts daily reduces your risk of developing diabetes, heart disease and cancer.

It is from a robust analysis of 20 previous studies, carried out in Norway. It was funded by a charitable trust, health authority and university, so is a pretty trustworthy source.

However, as is so often the case with studies into diet and health, the researchers cannot 100% prove nuts are the sole cause of these outcomes. It’s hard to discount the possibility that nuts were just one component of a healthier lifestyle pattern, including balanced diet and regular physical activity. It could be this overall picture that is reducing risk, not just nuts.

Bearing this in mind, the study of 376,228 adults did find nut consumption reduced the risk of cardiovascular disease. Each 28 gram/day serving was linked with a 21% reduced risk. (nb. if you have a family history of heart disease, a healthy diet including nuts can help, but still may not be able to eliminate the risk entirely).

The study of 304,285 adults found that one serving of nuts per day reduced risk of any cancer by 15%.

And of recorded 85,870 recorded deaths within the huge study group, one serving of nuts a day was linked with a 22% reduced risk of respiratory and diabetes deaths.

So it may be worth stocking up on some of those nut bags on sale in the supermarkets for the festive season. But carry the habit on right into the New Year and beyond.