Leukaemia UK Mind & Body Team
The Leukaemia UK Mind & Body Team is a specialist service funded by the charity Leukaemia UK at King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, aiming to improve mind and body care for patients and families with blood cancer and related diseases, also
known as haemato-oncological conditions.
Advances achieved in medical treatments for blood cancers and diseases need to be matched by much greater emotional and wellbeing care for the person affected by blood cancer and their loved ones.
The psychological impact of treatments for leukaemia, lymphoma, myeloma and other blood diseases are quite different to those of other cancers. There is no tumour to ‘remove’ from the body, and treatments involve the need for isolation from infection, making visiting and social contact very difficult for many weeks. Emotional support during and after this period should therefore be an essential part of treatment.
[Image: Professor Gulam Mufti]
It is for this reason that the Mind & Body Team was launched – a globally unique and revolutionary project where people affected by blood cancer will routinely receive psychological support where needed, expanding current service provision.
The team consists of a dedicated Psychiatrist, Clinical Psychologist, and Social Worker, who will provide specific support for patients with haemato-oncological conditions located at King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, for an initial period of two years. The team hopes to find that patients will recover faster, need fewer medications, and can be released from hospital sooner when they are supported in this way.
[Image, left to right: Angela Smith-Morgan, Prof Gulam Mufti and Dr Sean Cross]
The impact of the project will be measured and evaluated to determine the difference made to patient recovery and wellbeing. This will provide knowledge on the development of best practice in care for patients with haemato-oncological conditions and hopefully make a tangible difference to clinical care and people’s lives.