Pancreatic Cancer UK’s Support Line, which is staffed by four expert specialist nurses, has received a national accreditation from Helplines Partnership (HLP).
Pancreatic Cancer UK said it is now determined to use the Helplines Standard, which defines and recognises best practice and ensures that helplines are effectively meeting the needs of callers, to help reach its aim of doubling the number of patients and families calling the Support Line in the next five years.
Pancreatic Cancer UK’s Support Line has grown from providing support to around 300 people when it was created in 2010, to supporting 2,485 patients and families in 2015-2016.
The report from HLP said: “The Support Line is provided by a team of professionally trained clinical nurses. Support Line nurses were clearly very knowledgeable, yet conveyed complex or sensitive information at an appropriate pace, checking understanding and summarising effectively. Their empathetic approach was welcomed by the callers who had often been unsuccessful in accessing equivalent support or information from NHS sources.”
Sarah Bell, Head of Services at Pancreatic Cancer UK, said: “We are delighted to have achieved the Helplines Standard, which highlights the enormous difference we are making to the lives of people affected by this tough cancer. It also paves the way for us to achieve our target of doubling the number of patients and families using our Support Line by 2020 and reaching at least a fifth of those diagnosed, as part of our five-year strategy ‘Taking it on Together’.
“This is an ambitious goal, but it is a vital one, because but all too often we hear from people affected by pancreatic cancer that when they were first diagnosed, they were unable to access the right information and did not know where to turn for help. We are absolutely committed to changing this and to transforming the future for patients and families once and for all.”
Pancreatic Cancer UK’s specialist nurses offer support and information about the disease, treatment options and managing symptoms and side effects. People can contact them on the charity’s Support Line on freephone 0808 801 0707, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Around 9,600 people are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer each year in the UK. Just five per cent of people diagnosed will live for five years or more after diagnosis, and survival rates for the disease have barely improved since the early 1970s.