Man Without the Hat Charity Auctions in aid of the Southport & Formby Cancer Centre

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About the cause

The Southport & Formby Cancer Centre was founded in 2012 by local GP Dr. Graeme Allan and NHS Cancer Manager Mrs. Sarah McGrath. The service was created primarily to address the lack of support in the community for cancer patients, and their families, once cancer treatment was complete, and patients were discharged from hospital care.

Having identified the case of need, we submitted a bid to Macmillan and were successful in obtaining funding for two full-time staff and premises, for six years. On the completion of Macmillan funding, the local NHS took over the financial responsibility, as the Centre had successfully demonstrated how the service improved the experience of local people affected by cancer.

Our aim has always been to provide a universal offer of holistic support to everyone affected by cancer in Southport and Formby and, after many years, we are nearly there. We now have seven staff, and a team of volunteers, working from our own premises at 29 Wright St, to where patients can be referred by any health professional, or simply just drop in. One of our staff is attached to each GP practice in Southport & Formby, to pick up newly diagnosed cancer patients and offer our services.

Our role has expanded considerably over the years and is summarised below

  • Provision of cancer information and holistic support to anyone affected by cancer.
  • Macmillan grants and benefits advice.
  • Hosting cancer support groups, both general and for specific cancers.
  • Counselling from our voluntary team of trained counsellors (within two weeks.)
  • Lifestyle optimisation programme with gym classes and other activities to reduce the risk of cancer recurrence.
  • Provision of breast prosthetics to post-surgical breast cancer patients
  • Assisting local GPs by safety netting cancer test results

Although we are NHS funded, the amount we receive does not cover all our costs, especially as the service now delivers much more than was originally intended. We are very grateful to Victor and the members of Southport Whisky Club (Graeme is a member) for their support and assistance to help us continue providing for the needs of local people affected by cancer.

Dr. Graeme Allan, Medical Director.

Mrs. Sarah McGrath, Senior NHS Commissioning Manager