Rehab project awarded bursary

by Katherine Spencer REHABILITATION for local cancer sufferers could be dramatically improved as a result of this year's Insurance Corporation bursary.

The £3,000 cheque will go towards funding an investigation into the feasibility of a programme for patients in Guernsey.

Rehabilitation and improving the quality of life for post-treatment cancer patients are issues about which Breast Care Unit clinical nurse specialist Karen Leach has long felt strongly.

'Some cancer patients feel as if they are shot out at the end of the diagnosis and treatment process without doing the full circle.

'They need a little extra help to get back to where they were before the cancer.'

She approached Health Promotion Unit officer Lucy Whitman for help with the initiative.

'We are looking to utilise as many services already established at the Board of Health as we can,' said Mrs Whitman, who in her colleague's absence was presented with the cheque by the Bailiff, Sir de Vie Carey.

'I work at the Health Promotion Unit, which offers many services which could be part of a rehabilitation programme.'

The pair will collate current research into problems with life after cancer treatment and assimilate the results to design a pilot programme of rehabilitation.

'We are starting with seeds of ideas.

'We have to look at what contact is required and how that programme will knit in with existing services,' said Mrs Whitman.

The pilot clinic will develop from the results of research and will be designed to complement existing services while expanding the choice available to local cancer patients.

'We are extremely excited about the fact we have been given the opportunity to put this into practice.

"The bursary is going to be a huge help,' said Mrs Whitman.

Insurance Corporation director Peter Walpole congratulated Mrs Leach and Mrs Whitman for winning this year's bursary amid strong competition.

'Rehabilitation is one of the most important parts of cancer care and this project has the potential to enhance and complete the treatment that cancer sufferers receive in the Bailiwick,' said Mr Walpole.

But he urged the shortlisted candidates not to lose motivation and hoped that the bursary had acted as a catalyst for their ideas.

'This was the strongest shortlist to date. Those who did not make it this year could have been clear winners in previous years.'

The Insurance Corporation bursary is now in its 13th year and is awarded on an annual basis to Board of Health staff to pursue a project or training that will be beneficial to the provision of health care in the Bailiwick.

Board of Health president Peter Roffey thanked the firm for its continuing support and stressed that staff who embarked upon bursary-funded projects did so in addition to their daily working commitments.

Four exceptional projects were shortlisted for the 2003 bursary.

Sir de Vie said that the standard of applicants highlighted the quality of Board of Health staff.

The bursary was judged by a panel comprising Board of Health chief executive David Hughes, human resources director Wilma Edwards, health studies and nursing services director Tina Poxon and Insurance Coporation marketing coordinator Connie Wakeham

(Reproduced courtesy Guernsey Press and Star)
Article dated 15 October 2003

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