LOC: Leaders in Oncology Care
95 Harley Street
London, W1G 6AF
The Living Well programme is a recent initiative from LOC. The aim is to support patients above, beyond and after their treatment.
Listening to you… setting up the Living Well Programme
“Is that it?”
These were the words of an LOC patient on completing treatment recently.
For the majority of patients, completing treatment brings mixed emotions. There is relief to have made it through the experience. Sometimes there is anxiety about whom to turn to, and often a sense of uncertainty and vulnerability. Many patients look for ways to alleviate any physical, psychological or practical problems which arose during treatment. Other concerns may occur as time goes by – overwhelming fatigue, for example. Many of you say “I just want life to return to normal”. There may have to be a new normal, at least for the time being.
For some, there is a sense of worry. This can be brought on by overly focusing on statistics, such as five-year survival and cure rates, for example.
Creating a programme of follow-up care, to make your life easier and address your concerns, is now our focus.
“What else can I do? Are there other options and can I take some control over my care?”
Over the past few years, we have been developing our programme, primarily focusing on post-treatment care. As we evolve, we have been guided by your comments. We appreciate there is much we can do to help you through treatment. Meditation may help you through chemotherapy. Or you may like to think about exercise classes or healthy eating early on. Our aim is to make your experience seamless and to prevent unnecessary problems arising later on.
“Survivorship” is an umbrella term coined in the USA to describe follow-up care.
The UK now has a national survivorship initiative. However, the overwhelming consensus from patients and professionals at LOC has been to reject the term. It has connotations of battle and struggle. So although we are embracing this ethos of care, we have named our own programme “Living Well.” After all, living well is what really counts.
The aim is to anticipate and address any effects of cancer and its treatments, above all focusing on living well. The positive impact on the lives of patients and their families is manifest. This was all too apparent during our training visits to various American cancer centres specialising in this area. The simple message is: patients feel more in control, care is better co-ordinated, and professionals are relieved by specialist support.
“Not only did I get a lot out of it – I was blown away by everyone’s enthusiasm, commitment, honesty and faith”