Patient-led support group for people with head and neck cancer launched in Torbay and South Devon

Fahida and Sam
(Last Updated On: March 15, 2022)

People who are living with, and beyond, head and neck cancer are now able to benefit from a patient-led support group which has been set up in Torbay and South Devon.

The Swallows Head and Neck Cancer Support Group has been running monthly patient-led support groups since 2012 but until the Torbay and South Devon group was launched last month, there was no group in the south west. The Cancer Support Team in Head and Neck Cancer at Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust have worked closely together with the Swallows Head and Neck Cancer Support Group to change this.

Fahida and Sam

Fahida Rehman-Manby, Cancer Nurse Specialist at Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Many of our patients benefit from the 24-hour helpline run by the Swallows Head and Neck Cancer Support Group and we were keen to seize the opportunity to work with them to bring face-to-face, patient-led support here to Torbay and South Devon. While our original plans were delayed by the pandemic, we are thrilled to finally be able to offer this additional support to our patients.”

Sam Gregory, Head and Neck Cancer Speech and Language Therapist, Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust, said: “As a clinical team we try our best to support our patients through their treatment but there’s nothing better than meeting someone who’s lived it and can share their experience with you. Patient-led support groups are a safe space for people to share their coping strategies and techniques as well as sharing personal experiences and feelings. After the first meeting we received twelve phone calls from patients who attended saying how useful they had found it. We’re looking forward to seeing the group grow and develop.”

Liz Davenport, Chief Executive, Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust, said: “I am delighted to welcome The Swallows Head and Neck Cancer Support Group to Torbay and South Devon. Our focus is always on what matters to the people we care for and doing everything we can to support person-led care. I’d like to thank the whole cancer support team.”

The group meets on the second Wednesday of each month at Kingskerswell community centre from 6.45pm. You can contact the group through their page on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/2584280091864246/

To find out more watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3AM1pn_Feqs

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