Celebrating Cancer Support Workers



29th September 2022 – Celebrating 10 Years of Cancer Support Workers


If you or a member of your family are diagnosed with cancer, a Cancer Support Worker (CSW) will be a vital member of your cancer care team.


The role of the Cancer Support Worker is extremely varied because it is led by the needs of each patient, family member, carer of friend. They can provide emotional support, financial advice or information on housing and employment. Or they might simply be there to talk to during chemotherapy sessions.


CSWs also support the team of Clinical Nurse Specialists, and work with other departments involved in your care. It is an invaluable role that has transformed the quality of care offered to cancer patients.


Marion Rood was the first CSW to work in Wessex back in 2012. She is now Lead Support Worker, guiding and training new staff in cancer care. Marion tells us that the hospital wasn’t really sure what to do when she first arrived, but she quickly settled in and began offering breast cancer patients support with all the many aspects of their cancer journey.


“I was really fortunate to be one of the first cancer support workers in the country.” Marion tells us.


The Cancer Support Worker role has developed so much over the last decade and is now embedded in each hospital Trust, with over 60 CSWs across the Wessex region. CSWs are working with other care teams, developing training courses, planning for the future and delivering health and wellbeing sessions for cancer patients.


Cancer Support Workers are funded by Macmillan Cancer Support and Wessex Cancer Alliance. Their roles can vary from one Hospital to another as well as from one patient to the next. This is because the care they deliver is patient-centred, and the role of the CSW is to make sure they are supporting you, with the aspects of your life that matter to you.


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