CW+ grant supports complementary therapy for cancer patients at the Mulberry Centre

CW+ awarded a grant of £23,840 in April 2023 to support the Outpatients Complementary Therapy project at The Mulberry Centre, which is an independent charity that supports people affected by cancer at West Middlesex University Hospital. Since awarding the grant, which provides reflexology treatments to patients having outpatient chemotherapy, the project has helped 99 patients cope with the stresses of cancer and its treatment, some of whom have had as many as ten sessions.

The reflexology treatment funded by CW+ is one of three complementary therapies on offer. Six months into employing a reflexology therapist to deliver the treatment, patient feedback (pre and post treatment) has revealed that 93.3% of patients felt a significant improvement in their concerns around anxiety, nausea or pain. 80% of all patients felt a significant improvement in their wellbeing.

Chemotherapy treatments can often take up to five hours to complete, but the complementary therapies, including the reflexology treatment, help to improve patient experience by calming, soothing and de-stressing, as well as reducing the level of side effects from treatment. They open patients up to conversation and offer a sensitive touch and distraction while patients endure needles and cannulas.

A patient who has been receiving the complementary therapy said: ‘It was beneficial having the reflexology on my feet whilst having chemotherapy. This really helped me to relax and ease my mind.’

The Mulberry Centre offers complementary therapies four days a week in the clinic for patients undergoing chemotherapy, including the 30-minute reflexology treatments. This is a much-needed service that benefits patients and therefore lessens the pressure on hospital staff.

Julie Quinn, Mulberry Macmillan Cancer Information and Support Services Manager, said: ‘I am delighted The Mulberry Centre has been able to secure this funding. It is heartwarming to see the huge benefit this service is bringing to patients receiving chemotherapy, and how it helps to create a calmer atmosphere in this environment.’

Andrew Hall, Head of Impact and Evaluation at CW+, said: ‘It is great to see the positive impact this CW+ grant is making to people affected by cancer. The feedback from patients demonstrates the physical and emotional support that the reflexology treatments bring. Thank you to the wonderful staff and therapists at the Mulberry Centre for delivering the service, which is evidently helping to improve patients’ experience and wellbeing.’ Click here for more information on the CW+ grants programme.

The Mulberry Centre is the only cancer information and support centre in the local area delivering free services to anyone affected by cancer with no postcode boundaries. It provides practical and emotional support for anyone with a diagnosis of cancer, their friends and their families and those who have lost someone to cancer. For more details on The Mulberry Centre click here.