“You made this difficult time a lot easier”

11 Apr 2016

Side effects of chemotherapy can be distressing. Using charity funding, the Barts Breast Cancer Assessment team have been able to buy items to help patients with breast cancer.

A patient using the iPad for a Health Needs Assessment questionnaire

They’ve bought hairdressing equipment so patients who have hair loss due to chemotherapy can have hair and wig consultations in a relaxed environment.

It’s a unique service for patients at St Bartholomew’s Hospital, which includes:

  • A hair loss consultation prior to patients starting chemotherapy – including advice on style, colour and length and preparation of hair/scalp in anticipation of hair loss
  • A wig supply and fitting service to patients who have experienced hair loss related to their cancer treatment
  • A hair clipping and wig styling service

The new equipment simulates a hairdressing salon rather than a hospital environment.

One patient said: “Thank you for helping me to prepare and cope with the distressing side effects of chemotherapy. I was dreading losing my hair!

“You made this difficult time a lot easier. Surprisingly after you shaved my hair I felt I was in control; with the lovely wig we chose and you styled for me, I actually felt feminine again.

“You should be proud of the unique service you provide. You were such a tonic in the mist of what seemed such a chaotic time.”

The team have also bought iPads (pictured), allowing patients to complete their Health Needs Assessment questionnaire more easily – helping staff, too.

The questionnaire identifies any concerns patients may have – physical, emotional, practical, financial and spiritual.

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