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Plans to develop a Sheffield cancer rehab programme

Wednesday 05 February 2014

Health researchers at Sheffield Hallam University have secured funding for plans to develop a cancer rehabilitation programme for patients and survivors living in Sheffield.

The project is being led by the University's Centre for Health and Social Care Research (CHSCR) and Centre for Sport and Exercise Science (CSES) and is in collaboration with partners from the National Centre for Sports and Exercise Medicine (NCSEM) in Sheffield, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Weston Park Hospital Cancer Charity.

The team of researchers, clinicians and local service providers have been awarded £34,000 by Weston Park Hospital Cancer Charity to develop an exercise and cancer rehabilitation programme in the city that will seek to use exercise to benefit the health of those who have suffered or are suffering from cancer.

Steps will now be taken to establish what measures need to be in place in the city to implement such a programme.

Crucially, the funding will also be used to train up several exercise and cancer rehabilitation instructors who will be based in various locations across the city and will be able to offer patients and survivors an exercise screening consultation and a personalised exercise prescription to support their recovery.

Research has established that cancer survivors can reap a multitude of physical and mental well-being benefits by participating in regular exercise during and post-treatment. The Department of Health recommends those who have had a cancer diagnosis and undergone treatment should undertake 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week.

Sheffield Hallam's Centre for Sport and Exercise Science (CSES) has been working closely with local cancer clinicians for several years to research the benefits of exercise programmes for cancer patients.

Sheffield Hallam's Dr Helen Crank from CSES said: "For those who have undergone treatment such as surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy, getting back into exercise can be a daunting prospect. We have seen hundreds of cancer patients safely participate in exercise programmes during and post cancer treatment, patients say the benefits of exercise, such as improved fitness, reduced fatigue, increased self-confidence, improved strength and general feelings of enhanced mental and physical well-being are achievable and worth the investment in terms of time and effort.

"In Sheffield we are fortunate to have world-class cancer facilities and clinicians such as those at Weston Park Hospital, and we are really pleased to be able to work with them to bring all relevant expertise in clinical and exercise science together.

"It is now vitally important that we learn how to connect our clinical and physical activity resources in the city to further support our cancer patients on the road to recovery."

Sam Kennedy, director of Weston Park Hospital Cancer Charity, said: "We are delighted to be able to support this innovative and much-needed project. As more people are living longer with the after-effects of cancer and its treatment, it is critical that patients, their carers and health professionals are in the best position to be able to manage their long-term health, and exercise is an important aspect of this.

"As a charity we aim to keep families together longer and in this, our 20th year, we feel this project will support cancer survivors across South Yorkshire to maintain a healthy lifestyle for years to come."

The project is part of a wider initiative led by the NCSEM that aims to create a culture of physical activity in the city. A host of organisations in Sheffield have signed up to the initiative including Sheffield City Council, Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Group, Sheffield International Venues Ltd, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and local charitable organisations and support groups to name a few.

Notes for editors:

Dr Helen Crank of CSES and Dr Karen Collins of CHSCR are available for comment. Please contact the press office to arrange.

About Weston Park Hospital Cancer Charity

Weston Park Hospital Cancer Charity is dedicated to supporting Weston Park Hospital and its patients. It exists to raise funds to help pay for world-class cancer research, cancer treatment and cancer care at the hospital.

From donations to fundraising, there are many ways that people can support the work of the charity. For more information, visit the website at www.wphcancercharity.org.uk or call the charity office on 01142265370. Keep up to date with the latest charity news, events and highlights by following us on Facebook, Twitter and Linked-In.

For press information: contact Sarah Duce in the Sheffield Hallam University press office on 0114 225 4025 or email press office@shu.ac.uk

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