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Supporting Radiotherapy patients with side effects

three radiotherapy nurses smiling

Radiotherapy patients experiencing any late side effects following treatment can now benefit from a vital new UHDB service.

The Macmillan Radiotherapy Late Effects Service offers support and guidance for patients from Derbyshire who are experiencing side effects as a consequence of their treatment.

These symptoms can develop months, years, or even decades after undergoing Radiotherapy, and can have a significant impact on a patient’s quality of life by affecting them in a number of different ways.

The Late Effects service offers one-to-one support – both through face-to-face clinics and over the phone – for patients by providing them with any advice they need, referring them to other specialist services, and helping empower them to manage their own symptoms going forward.

Around 40 patients have benefited from the service since its launch in July 2019, with the team also offering emotional support for those struggling with the impact that cancer and the resulting treatment has had on their lives.   

Monica Thornton, Lead Late Effects Macmillan Radiographer, said: “The Derby Radiotherapy Late Effects service is here to provide support and guidance for patients that are experiencing late side effects, following Radiotherapy treatment. We’re privileged to have been funded by Macmillan to set up a service to support patients who have developed these symptoms.  

New UHDB service supporting Radiotherapy patients experiencing side effects from UHDB Communications on Vimeo.

“The service allows us to give patients the time they need to tell us what side effects they’re experiencing, how this can affect them and to help decide on a management plan together. Late side effects of Radiotherapy can affect people in various ways. It can affect them physically, emotionally, psychologically, financially and socially, so we're here to support these patients to help manage their symptoms and live the best life that they possibly can.”   

Each session lasts for a minimum of an hour, with the team providing support through clinics at Royal Derby Hospital and over the phone.

The service is aimed at anyone from Derbyshire who has completed Radiotherapy treatment more than six months ago and is now experiencing difficulties that may be related to their treatment.

Patients can self-refer to the service, while the team also accept referrals from GPs and other medical professionals.  If you would like more information, please call 01332 783602, or email the team on: uhdb.radiotherapylateeffects@nhs.net