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Your key worker



Clinical nurse specialistWhile we are caring for you, you will have a main point of contact called a key worker. This is usually a clinical nurse specialist (CNS).

Your key worker is an important member of the multi-disciplinary team (MDT) caring for you.

They are specially trained to help people with cancer make sense of their diagnosis, its treatment and effects. We offer this both to people with a diagnosis and to those supporting them.

We offer several different types of support. This is because we understand that each person's experience of cancer and its treatment will be different, and what you need may change over time.

Your key worker will support you by:

  • providing reassuring one-to-one care
  • helping you to understand and get through your treatment, including managing any side effects or symptoms
  • helping you when you stay in hospital and when you visit as an outpatient
  • ensuring good communication between you and your multi-disciplinary team
  • communicating between members of your family or other members or your care team such as your GP (home doctor), community nurse or social worker
  • giving you details of support groups and other support organisations you may find helpful
  • one-to-one emotional support
  • giving you details of how to access our benefits adviser for financial and welfare advice.

When you first meet your key worker

You may meet your key worker at your first appointment at Guy's and St Thomas' or after you have been diagnosed.

They will explain your test and treatment options and support you and your family.

You will also be given written information about the type of cancer you have, your treatment options and other sources of information and support, such as Dimbleby Cancer Care.

You’ll find details of the key workers for each of our services in our cancer types section.


Helping you with your wider needs

Being diagnosed with cancer can affect many areas of you life.

For example you may be worried about practical, financial and emotional issues as well as your medical needs. This is why we offer you a session with a healthcare professional about your wider needs.

This is called a holistic needs assessment. The aim is for you to identify any concerns you have and then, in discussion with your health care professional, to make a plan to meet those needs.