A new scheme to help reduce stress and worry for cancer patients in the community has been hailed the ‘key to success’ – thanks to the region’s dedicated cancer charity.
As part of its work to fund and deliver meaningful projects throughout Shropshire, Telford and Mid Wales, Lingen Davies Cancer Fund has invested in radar keys – enabling cancer patients to access public facilities when they need them.
Initially available to patients in North Shropshire the keys will ensure people can use disabled toilet facilities while out and about, reducing stress and worry about leaving the home. They will be available through a patient’s GP practice.
This scheme will be introduced to other areas of the county in due course and links directly into the charity’s LiveLife Cancer Awareness Service. As well as supporting patients going through treatment at The Royal Shrewsbury Hospital’s Lingen Davies Cancer Centre, the charity fundraises to raise awareness about cancer in the community and work towards cancer prevention.
Lingen Davies CEO Naomi Atkin said: “We exist to make a positive difference to people impacted by cancer in our community. We want to enable people to live better during and after cancer treatment.
“It is great to be working with North Shropshire PCN to give patients access to radar keys; these can be a real lifeline to patients who need to access toilets quickly because of their cancer, or the side effects of their treatment.
“Projects like this can have a huge impact on people’s lives, enabling them to live as well as possible, despite the challenges they may be finding with their health,” she added.
Val McKay, Lead Cancer Care Co-ordinator for North Shropshire Primary Care Network, contacted Lingen Davies after a patient raised concerns about accessing toilet facilities when needed.
“I was talking to a young patient who shared how difficult it was to go out socially and the additional planning that was needed for any journey outside the home – even sometimes when getting to their treatment.
“They went on to share that they relied on supermarkets or pubs to gain access at short notice and I came away wanting to make a difference for this person, and the hundreds of patients of any age living with a cancer in Shropshire. I was aware Radar Keys allow free access to public disabled toilets across the UK and felt if we could fund the key then this would be the “key” to success.
Val added: “One patient recently awarded a key from us said ‘It’s been a lifeline – it’s the difference between staying in or going out and I can’t share how wonderful it’s been to get out of these 4 walls’.
Pictured: Val McKay and Naomi Atkin with the new radar keys which are available to patients now.