A Hove hospital has won accreditation for its cancer care from two national organisations.
The Montefiore Hospital has earned the Bupa Cancer Survivorship Programme accreditation as well as the Macmillan Quality Environment Mark.
Spire Healthcare, which runs the Montefiore, said: “This national assurance reflects the hospital’s commitment to providing a holistic approach to treating patients in its dedicated oncology unit, the St Ann’s Well Suite.
“As well as up-to-the-minute medical care, the St Ann’s Well Suite, staffed by highly experienced nurses who are Macmillan-registered, offers emotional and practical support and alternative therapies such as acupuncture, reflexology and aromatherapy.
“It also works closely with a range of charities to enhance the quality of life for patients while they go through treatment.
“It has recently expanded its range of therapies to include an in-house lymphoedema clinic.
“Lymphoedema massage relieves the swelling in arms and fingers which can happen following cancer surgery to remove lymph nodes.
“A clinical psychologist has also joined the team offering specialist additional emotional and psychological support for patients.
“The Montefiore also has two breast cancer patient support groups – one for women who have been newly diagnosed and the other for patients whose cancer has returned.”
Breast care nurse specialist Maria Daultrey said: “Cancer survivorship is all about adopting a holistic approach to support the patient – not just through the medical aspects of their treatment but also emotionally and with practical help.
“We are very mindful that when people are first given a diagnosis of cancer they are full of anxiety and can’t move on from that news.
“Cancer survivorship is about giving patients and families the tools to cope not only with the treatment but life outside of and beyond cancer.”
As well as inhouse support, the Montefiore works closely with Macmillan Horizon Centre in Brighton and refers patients to specialist cancer charities such as Odyssey, which provides outdoor experiences to boost confidence, and Casting for Recovery, which uses the therapeutic sport of fly fishing to help women with breast cancer.
Breast cancer survivor, Jo Bayles, a former Montefiore Hospital patient, is now an advocate of using a range of therapies to cope with the emotional and physical impact of cancer.
She was first introduced to the hospital’s reflexologist, Barbara Palloni, before she had her mastectomy.
Ms Bayles, 44, who had a mastectomy after having grade 3 breast cancer diagnosed in January 2015, said: “When I chatted with Barbara, it was the first time I thought, ‘I am going to live.’
“She prepared a nasal aromatherapy spray to stop me feeling anxious before the surgery. I was so relaxed before the operation I actually fell asleep before they came to take me to theatre.”
After surgery, Ms Palloni helped Ms Bayles to become familiar with her scar, showing her how to rub aromatherapy oil into it, and provided massage after chemotherapy treatments.
Ms Bayles said: “Rather than just thinking I am going in for some horrible chemotherapy, I knew I was going to have a lovely massage as well.”
She returns to the Montefiore for an annual check-up and has continued to embrace therapies such as acupuncture regularly.
She said: “I can still get wobbles just with the stress of life but things like acupuncture are my tools to keep me well both physically and mentally.”