Children's

At UHNM, we understand the complex emotions and pressures that come with a cancer diagnosis and the subsequent treatment, both for the child concerned and the parents or carers. We therefore take every measure possible to ensure that everyone is made as comfortable as possible during the child's treatment.

Our paediatric oncology service provides chemotherapy and supportive treatments for children with cancer.  We are a shared care centre, which means that other specialist centres, such as Birmingham Children's Hospital, Manchester Children's Hospital and Alderhey Hospital  Liverpool  provide specialist advice, but most of the treatment is provided here.

A multidisciplinary team will care for your child throughout their journey. The team consists of paediatric surgeons, paediatricians, oncologists, a clinical psychologist, community staff, physiotherapists, and a clinical nurse specialist. Having the input of staff from a variety of clinical backgrounds helps give a rounded, complete view of each child's case and therefore results in better care.


On the ward

  • Patient information leaflets - We provide a wide range of simple, informative and colourful leaflets, some aimed at parents, some aimed directly at children. They give information and advice on many aspects of care, for example mouth hygiene and going 'Back to School' a vast variety of other leaflets are also kept in the day unit
  • School teacher - A school teacher is available on the unit to give patients individual attention and help them with their studies. The school teacher can provide home visits if necessary and we liaise with schools to ensure we provide a system that meets everyone's needs
  • Play specialists - Our play specialists are trained in various forms of distraction therapy to help children when they are undergoing procedures which may cause them distress, such as injections
  • Patient record book  -  This book is given out by the specialist centres but is the patients' own to keep. It allows you to keep a record of visits and results. This should help you to feel more organised and confident about your child's care
  • Children's picture books - We supply children's picture books which are designed to tell children about having cancer in a friendly but informative way. There are also some books aimed at parents and grandparents


Clinical team, contacts and clinic information

The clinical team you are most likely to meet:

  • Paediatricians: Dr A Kumar, Dr S Thompson and Dr L Roe
  • Support nurses:  Claire Butler, Penny Holt and Katie Aspen
  • Clinical psychologist: Dr Carole Martin
  • Clinical nurse specialist: Julie Eaton


Contacts

  • Oncology day unit: Ward 217b, 01782 675147
  •  Oncology: Ward 216, 01782 675217


Clinical nurse specialist

The clinical nurse specialist for children's cancer/paediatric oncology is Julie Eaton. Julie's role is to provide constant support to each patient and their family as the care pathway is followed. She will walk you through each step of the journey and is dedicated to providing a personal service. Julie is also there to provide relevant written information on your child's condition, to explain their treatment and answer any questions you may have. She works in partnership with ward staff to ensure that, where appropriate, referrals to other services, such as local community cancer and palliative care teams, are made.

Julie also visits and liaises with schools to ensure that your child's educational and emotional needs are met as closely as possible. She educates teachers on what to expect from a child suffering with cancer, in terms of how they will behave, look, think and feel, and with regards to being watchful and aware of their condition throughout the day, for example, spotting warning signs that they might be feeling tired or ill.

Through Julie, you will be able to access:

Up to date clinical information, for example through discussion, or through distribution of patient information leaflets and booklets

  • Practical advice and answers to your questions
  • Emotional support
  • Referral to other services (if appropriate) such as to community groups
  • Advice on how to obtain surgical appliances if necessary


You can also discuss a variety of issues (depending on their relevancy to you) including:

  • Surgery
  • Radiotherapy and chemotherapy
  • Other support services including social services, home and hospice care
  • Emotional and psychological support and counselling
  • Symptom management
  • Fatigue management
  • Employment, benefits/financial entitlement, driving and holiday travel
  • Help with adaptations for the Home/environmental aids
  • Medications


Julie also runs a bereavement support group with Dr Carole Martin and can make home visits if necessary. Julie works four days a week and is available to speak to either by phone or in person on these days. An answer machine service is available for when she is not in; if you leave a message she will return your call as soon as possible. Email: julie.eaton@uhnm.nhs.uk

Clinics

Outpatient clinics are held in the Children's Centre at the Royal Stoke University Hospital on a Tuesday afternoon.

The Macmillan Cancer Support and Information Centre - This is a local service provided by the University Hospitals of North Midlands from the Central Outpatients Department.  The centre offers advice, help and support on a clinical, emotional and practical level. Email: macmillancentre@uhns.nhs.uk

Further information and support

The Macmillan Cancer Support and Information Centre will:

  • Listen to how cancer is affecting your life
  • Provide a wide range of free booklets and other written information
  • Put you in touch with other sources of support such as local counselling services, benefits advisers and support groups

The centre is open Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm

The address is:

The Macmillan Cancer Support and Information Centre
University Hospitals of North Midlands
Ground Floor, Main Building, Newcastle Road
Stoke on Trent, ST4 6QG
Call us on 01782 676333 or
e-mail us at macmillancentre@uhns.nhs.uk

Please note, we are unrelated to the local Douglas Macmillan Hospice, despite the word Macmillan in both our names.


If you are making a special journey, please ring to make an appointment so you are not kept waiting 


Family-run support group

Some of the family members of our patients run a support group, which meets once every month. The date and venue varies but posters in the day unit advertise future dates. It provides an opportunity for people who find themselves in very similar situations to chat, share their feelings and give support and help to each other.

Bereavement group

We run a bereavement group, which meets on every second Tuesday of the month at the Medical Institute on Hartshill Road, Newcastle under Lyme, Staffordshire. The group is run by Julie Eaton, Clinical Nurse Specialist and the clinical psychologist and provides an opportunity for family and friends who have lost someone they love to come together for shared support and counseling. 

Bereavement visits

Losing a child is a very upsetting experience.  Our Clinical Nurse Specialist will make home visits to support you when necessary. 

Benefits advice

Our clinical nurse specialists provide advice on how to apply for disability living allowances and other benefit support. They can also provide information on special holidays/caravan sites available for patients and their families at very low rates. 

Charities