A PILOT project has been launched in the district to provide more help to patients who have undergone cancer treatment.

The initiative aims to ensure all patients are aware of the support available, and have access to it.

West Yorkshire and Harrogate Cancer Alliance is co-ordinating the scheme, in partnership with several organisations including Bradford district clinical commissioning groups, Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Cancer Support Yorkshire.

Funding is being provided by Macmillan Cancer Support.

Under the scheme, offers of help to patients with issues such as their personal finances, maintaining social networks, psychological wellbeing and physical problems – such as fatigue and pain – will be formalised in a face-to-face appointment.

And people will be helped through the process by the use of an electronic health needs assessment, devised by Macmillan.

Initially, the venture will focus on patients who have come to the end of treatment for gynaecological and colorectal cancer, or cancers of the head and neck or the digestive system, such as the stomach, liver and pancreas.

Two support co-ordinators are now in place, based at Cancer Support Yorkshire’s premises in Bradford.

Professor Sean Duffy, clinical lead for the West Yorkshire and Harrogate Cancer Alliance, said: “Personalised post-treatment support and putting patients in charge of their own recovery can have a significant impact on their experience of care and their quality of life.

“The chance to talk one-to-one with someone often helps patients to identify unmet needs they hadn’t even realised they had.

“Cancer is one of many long-term conditions for which support services already exist in the community, to which people can be signposted and that can make all the difference.

“However, we recognise that there is significant variation in how this is currently happening across West Yorkshire and Harrogate.

“This initiative is a great example of how, when organisations work together and focus on improvement, this brings huge benefits for those affected by cancer and their families.

“Cancer patients each have their own individual and wide-ranging needs at the end of their treatment, and support that is well-signposted and tailored to each individual can make a huge difference to their lives.”

Sarah Wood, executive director of Cancer Support Yorkshire, said the organisation was “excited” to be involved in the project.

She added: “We are fully committed to this collaborative work, which enables those affected by cancer to live as full a life as possible with an integrated range of existing support services in the community.”

The pilot is part of the national Living With and Beyond Cancer programme.