Once cancer treatment has finished… what happens next? That is the question many people ask once all their active cancer treatment is over. But help is out there. The Transforming care after treatment (TCAT) programme is a partnership between the Scottish Government, Macmillan Cancer Support, NHS Scotland and local authorities to support a redesign of care following active treatment of cancer. Since the programme started in 2013, it has been making a difference to the lives of hundreds of people across Ayrshire.

‘Once treatment has finished,’ said Caroline Rennie, Macmillan Nurse Consultant, ‘it can take some time for the physical effects of cancer treatment to reduce. Along with the emotional – and often financial – strain of living with cancer, many people feel lost and confused.

‘The TCAT programme aims to support and enable cancer survivors to live as healthy a life as possible for as long as possible. It is all about encouraging self management and getting back to as normal a life as possible. The TCAT programme addresses the issues faced by patients after their treatment stops. In Ayrshire and Arran, the team use a holistic needs assessment to determine the needs of each individual person. Questions can range from how to keep active and eat healthily, to sleep problems and concerns about sexual relations.

‘By assessing patients at all stages in treatment, we can ensure they receive tailormade information and support to meet their needs. We are currently looking at how we can further develop these clinics.’

If you’re a pharmacist in Ayrshire who has patients who you feel could benefit from this programme, signpost them to Caroline Rennie, Macmillan Nurse Consultant, on 01563 826025.

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