New pilot scheme for patients facing cancer surgery

Published Friday 13 March 2020

The health and fitness of cancer patients, preparing to undergo potentially life-enhancing surgery, could be given a boost thanks to an innovative new pilot scheme.

Harborough District Council, is supporting a progressive six-week ‘prehabilitation’ programme for cancer patients, being launched in Harborough district this month.

It involves a supervised exercise regime, nutritional support, education and psychological support to improve outcomes for patients scheduled for surgery.

Undergoing major surgery is physically, nutritionally and psychologically demanding for patients. This project aims to improve the health of the person before surgery so that they are best equipped for their procedure and have a smoother and quicker recovery experience post-surgery.

The programme involves selecting suitable patients currently under the care of Glenfield hospital to take part. Once the patient agrees, they are referred to the relevant local authority within the trial. In Leicestershire only Harborough, Melton & Hinckley & Bosworth local authorities are taking part in the initial pilot.

The Harborough District Council, Active Harborough team will be responsible for those who are referred to the council, and participants are likely to live in the district.

In collaboration with Glenfield Hospital’s Lead Physiotherapist / Prehabilitation Project Manager and trained cancer rehabilitation instructors at Harborough Leisure Centre, an exercise plan will be personally tailored to the individual to meet their particular requirements. Sessions will be an hour-long, and be held three times a week at Harborough leisure centre, in partnership with Harborough District Council’s leisure provider, Everyone Active.

To support this important project, a number of carefully selected Harborough District Active Harborough instructors are being trained and upskilled to qualify as Level 4 cancer rehabilitation instructors’.

Cllr Nunn and Matt Hopkins

Post-surgery, the council’s Active Harborough team will continue to support the individuals through recovery and with ongoing exercise plans and class delivery.

Cllr Amanda Nunn, Harborough District Council’s portfolio holder for Well-being said: ‘I’m so pleased our district has been chosen to pilot this progressive scheme which supports people during a difficult time to prepare both physically and mentally for treatment. I hope it is a huge success. ’

Matthew Hopkin, Centre Manager for Harborough Leisure Centre said: ‘We have a great team of experienced staff here at Harborough Leisure Centre. I know they are completely committed to supporting participants of the new scheme and we look forward to helping them on their journey to recovery.’

Leicestershire and Rutland Sport (LRS), are co-ordinating the ‘prehabilitation’ project which is being provided by the University Hospitals of Leicestershire NHS Trust (UHL) in partnership with NHS England and NHS Improvement (Midlands), and the three Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Clinical Commissioning Groups.

Pictured: Harborough District Councillor Amanda Nunn, and Matthew Hopkin of Everyone Active