Cancer Wellbeing London

About Health and Wellbeing Events

What is a health and wellbeing event?

Health and Wellbeing Events (HWBEs) are education and support sessions that provide individuals living with or beyond cancer with information to live as healthily and actively as possible during or after cancer treatment.  The events also give advice on ongoing management of healthcare needs and local facilities that support positive lifestyle changes.

HWBEs are often run as group sessions to encourage sharing of experiences and provide peer-support, but are also offered as one-to-one appointments.  Some Health and Wellbeing Events are generic to all cancers, while others focus on information relating to one particular cancer.  The length of the events varies and individuals can choose to attend the whole event or just the parts that are most useful to them. Many are also open to carers and/or family to attend.

Find a Health and Wellbeing Event that is right for you

Health and Wellbeing Events cover topics including:

  • Nutrition and physical activity
  • Potential consequences of treatment
  • Management of symptoms – for example fatigue or physical discomfort
  • Signs and symptoms of recurrence
  • Returning to work
  • Accessing financial and benefits advice
  • Addressing fears of cancer recurrence
  • Specific self-care issues relating to specific cancers.
  • Local services or facilities that promote healthy living, .  For example, stopping smoking services or gyms that have access to physical activity programmes/gyms

“I have spoken to many people about their experience and I found it helpful, comforting, and supportive”

- HWBE ATTENDEE

Find a Health and Wellbeing Event that is right for you

Who provides Health and Wellbeing Events?

Health and Wellbeing Events are provided and delivered by NHS Trusts working in partnership with local healthcare teams or charities and community organisations.

Who can attend a Health and Wellbeing Event?

Everyone diagnosed with cancer should be offered the opportunity to attend.  Attendance will generally be offered during or after treatment. But individuals can attend at a time in the cancer pathway that will  best support their needs and when they choose to attend.   

“Great information and the good feeling of support.”

- HWBE ATTENDEE

How do I access a Health and Wellbeing Event?

This website provides a search facility to find HWBEs all over London, so we hope that you can find an event that is close to your home or local hospital.  We have also provided online content that summarises some of the information that is delivered in Health and Wellbeing Events and we have linked to other online websites that will signpost you to useful online resources.

If you would like to talk to someone about local events that best suit your needs, please ask your Clinical Nurse Specialist or visit your hospital’s Macmillan Information and Support Service. 

Find a Health and Wellbeing Event that is right for you

Why is the NHS providing Health and Wellbeing Events?

There are now 2.5 million people living with cancer in the UK and this number has grown by 400,000 in the last 5 years. With improvements in early detection and advances in treatments, cancer is changing and people are living longer with or beyond cancer.

The National Cancer Survivorship Initiative piloted the introduction and evaluation of 14 Health and Wellbeing Events for individuals with cancer between 2010 to March 2011.  The pilots tested a range of models; tailored to the specific needs of the patient group.  The evaluation found that the clinics/events enhanced quality of care, improved patient reported outcomes and reduced patients’ use of health services (1).

Other key findings from the NCSI evaluation include (1):

  • Greater physical wellbeing. Individuals describe benefitting from advice on diet and exercise and referrals to physiotherapy/dietetic services, as well as receiving information about side effects (which led some patients to change medication, with positive effects)
  • Increased ability to manage emotional distress and increased participation in social activities.
  • Reduced need to use GP and district nursing services.
  • That the informal atmosphere of the events enhances the delivery of health and wellbeing information
  • That the clinics have a significant ‘reassuring’ role. Individuals reported that they felt better knowing what services are open to them and how to access these
  • They valued the group discussions – this assisted to minimise isolation and confirm what is ‘normal’ to experience and feel for a person who has been diagnosed with cancer.
  • The events work well at earlier stages in the pathway too
  • Family and carers can also benefit from attending the events
  1. Palin, J., Ryrie, R., Smith, l., Khanna,M.,Pralat, R. Evaluation of Health and Wellbeing Clinics: final report. 2011.

“It helped me to feel more supported and less alone.”

- HWBE ATTENDEE

What other supportive interventions should I receive from the NHS to help me after a cancer diagnosis?

Holistic Needs Assessment (HNA)

A tool used by healthcare professionals to identify your  individual needs and contributes to a discussion about your health. The discussion can then be focused on areas that are important to you, a care plan developed and referrals/signposting made to support services, such as rehabilitation, psychological support and services dealing with the consequences of treatment. 

This ensures that your care and support services are planned and accessed appropriately.   You should receive a copy of the HNA (with the care plan) and a copy will also be sent to your GP.  You should receive a holistic needs assessment around diagnosis and at end of treatment – and at any other point in the pathway where your needs change.

Treatment Summary

This is a letter which is completed by your cancer team and sent to you and your GP after your primary treatment.

The aim of this letter is to provide high quality communication between your hospital team and your GP. The letter will contain details of the treatment(s) you received and useful information about alert symptoms that require referral back to a specialist team, possible consequences of treatment, an ongoing management plan and any required GP actions to help support you. Copies of the completed treatment summary will be sent to both you and your GP.

Cancer Care Review

Within 6 months of a GP practice them receiving notification of your cancer diagnosis, you should be invited to have a cancer care review appointment with your GP or a practice nurse. This appointment will give you an opportunity to understand what information and and services are available to you in your local area, and to enable you to self-manage your health with support as needed.

Check out our people affected by cancer information section

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