Psychological service for gynaecological cancer launched

Innovative CPFT service to support the mental health of women with gynaecological cancers launched

Psychological service for gynaecological cancer launched
22 November 2017


An innovative CPFT service to support the mental health of women with gynaecological cancers at CUH Addenbrooke’s and Peterborough City Hospitals and funded by Macmillan has been launched today.

The comprehensive psychological service, one of the first of its kind in the country, includes group and 1:1 therapies, and direct access to specialist psychology and psychiatry support for those with more complex or severe mental health difficulties.

It has been developed by experts from CPFT’s Psychological Medicine Service, which provides psychiatric care to those in acute hospitals, and the gynaecological oncology department at Addenbrooke’s, part of Cambridge University Hospitals (CUH). 

One of the services offered is an eight-session course aimed at moving forward after a gynaecological cancer diagnosis and treatment. Women on the pilot course, all of whom had been treated for gynaecological cancers, said the group sessions gave them confidence in their abilities and the strength and energy to tackle life’s day-to-day problems.

The course was supported by CPFT’s Recovery College, which helps people learn new skills and understand more about their personal mental health challenges.

Dr Annabel Price, CPFT Consultant Liaison Psychiatrist, said: “Gynaecological cancer and its treatment can be very traumatic and life-changing and the after-affects are as much psychological as what has happened to their bodies. Before we created this course with CUH and Macmillan, women would face struggling with how to manage the rest of lives alone without professional support.

“Now, with this new model of delivery, they have the tools and support to build their confidence and inner strength to do take control of their lives again.

“One key advantage of the integrated physical and mental care approach is that it provides direct access to psychological services such as CPFT’s Psychological Wellbeing Service, if people do require one-to-one support.”

Dr Price, continued: “Our patients on the pilot course gave us very positive feedback and also some good ideas to help us improve the course. In the long term we plan to make courses like this more widely accessible to people living with and beyond cancer, with specialist support available for people with more complex psychological needs.”

Macmillan cancer care have funded the two-year pilot psychological service to women coming to CUH Addenbrooke’s and Peterborough City Hospitals for their gynaecological cancer care.

Elaine Chapman, CUH Macmillan Lead Cancer Nurse, said:

“We are very pleased that our partnership with colleagues from Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust has made a real difference to patients to improve their mental health and also to help maintain their physical health by giving the strength to care for themselves properly.”

Marguerite Calver, a retired teacher from Stowupland, was treated for ovarian cancer in 2014. She praised the care she received from CPFT’s Liaison Psychiatry team.

“The psychiatrist was so good, she would come and sit by my bed and was the one person I was able to connect to. She was a great listener and I poured my heart out to her. She gave me tremendous support – she was always there. I ended up being in the fetal position most of the time. I was ill psychologically but Annabel was amazing, so patient and incredibly caring.”

The availability of the psychiatric service during this period meant that the cause of the psychiatric symptoms was quickly identified and the right treatment was started. The mental health and cancer teams worked closely together to develop a physical and mental health management plan and put follow up in place once Marguerite was recovering.

Since her recovery Marguerite has been a very active supporter of the development of cancer specific mental health services and has been involved with the development of the case for funding for a dedicated psycyo-oncology service in Cambridgeshire.



For more information please contact:

Adrian Ient

Communications Manager

E adrian.ient@cpft.nhs.uk  

T 01223 219470

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust
Elizabeth House, Fulbourn Hospital
Cambridge, CB21 5EF

T 01223 219400 (open 8:30am to 5pm)
F 01480 398501

IIP-logo-reversed Mindful-employer NHS-Employers-web Triangle-of-Care-member Twitter Logo Youtube Logo Facebook Logo Instagram Logo Wordpress Logo