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United approach to young people with cancer

1 November 2010 - 2:50pm

Two famous Manchester institutions have come together to provide a unique service for young people with cancer, staff from the Christie cancer hospital told delegates.

In a session outlining the support allied health professionals can give cancer patients, delegates heard how Manchester United Football Club had helped the Christie with funding.

Nicola Chesman, a senior physiotherapist, and Hannah Ballard, a senior occupational therapist, at the Christie’s young oncology unit, have been employed through the YOU – Man U partnership.

National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence guidelines, published in 2005, emphasised AHPs should provide rehabilitation for young people throughout all stages of their cancer journey. The Christie hospital built on this need and put in a bid to Manchester United foundation for help providing the service.

The successful bid also provided money for specialist equipment and items to improve time on the ward, such as a Wii computer console.

The AHP team works to prevent secondary complications, minimise side-effects of treatment, maximise independence and maximise symptom control, Hannah Ballard told delegates. She said positive outcomes included improved cardiofunction, increased strength and increased quality of life.

‘Results have been overwhelmingly positive, with patients reporting improved confidence, reduced anxiety and increased strength and fitness,’ she said.

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