Welcome to the Barts Cancer Centre

Welcome to the Barts Cancer Centre

Welcome to the Barts Cancer Centre. The Barts Cancer Centre has an international reputation as a service dedicated to treating patients with both common and rarer cancers. We provide an integrated service to over one and a half million people in northeast London, Essex and further afield, ensuring they have access to high quality, specialist cancer care.

The Centre is based at St Bartholomew’s Hospital located in the heart of the City of London, but provides services for the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of cancer at all hospital sites within the Trust.

Our highly specialised teams understand that patient care needs to be individualised, taking into account psychological and social needs, alongside medical treatment. We are continually researching new treatments and the use of new technologies, ensuring that our patients receive the best and most up-to-date care.

Cancer care is provided by multi-disciplinary teams that consist of consultant medical oncologists, consultant clinical oncologists, consultant surgeons, consultant physicians, pathologists, radiologists and clinical nurse specialists.

Being diagnosed with cancer is a difficult and worrying time. As a patient, you need to know that your care is as good as it can be. We will aim to keep you involved and informed at every stage of your care pathway.

We are committed to providing the very best treatments and technologies to care for our patients. In addition to using conventional cancer treatments such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy, we are constantly reviewing and researching new treatments that are able to target cancer cells.

Why choose us

We offer patients the very latest treatments and technology, as well as the opportunity to participate in clinical trials, and we are always trying to improve the treatment that we are able to offer.

As an Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre and a Cancer Research UK Centre (at St Bartholomew's Hospital) we can fast track patients, often those who are critically ill, to new cancer treatments being tested in clinical trials.

Patients whose cancers have recurred may be suitable to take part in trials of newer treatments at the Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre, where our specialists investigate how the latest scientific discoveries and cancer treatments work when tested on patients. This can offer hope to patients who are not responding to existing treatments. All our specialist work is pushing the boundaries of medical knowledge and this helps towards treatments being developed for use across the NHS as quickly as possible.

From physiotherapists to dietitians, our teams of highly skilled health professionals work alongside medical staff to help care for our patients.

 

Types of treatments

Brachytherapy

We have the specialist facilities and expertise to offer internal radiotherapy, known as brachytherapy. This gives radiation treatment directly to a particular part of the body.

Brachytherapy is where solid radioactive material is placed inside the body to destroy cancer cells. It is placed within or near to the cancer, and as the radiation does not travel very far the advantage of this treatment is that it gives a high dose of radiotherapy directly to the tumour, but a low dose to normal tissues.

In women, brachytherapy can be used to treat cancers of the cervix, womb or vagina. It can be used on its own or combined with other treatments such as external radiotherapy.

In men, brachytherapy is a common procedure used to treat prostate cancer and is recognised as an alternative to traditional, external beam radiotherapy. It involves implanting ‘seeds’ or ‘pellets’ of radioactive material directly into the prostate gland under a general or spinal anaesthetic. These ‘seeds’ are about the size of a grain of rice.

Brachytherapy is also used to treat other forms of cancer such as thyroid cancer.

At the Barts Cancer Centre, we have a dedicated brachytherapy theatre and recovery rooms on our wards. Our rooms are all spacious single ensuite rooms with their own fridge and temperature control, to ensure that patients receiving this type of treatment are as comfortable as possible during their stay with us.

Brachytherapy is provided at the Barts Cancer Centre.

Biological or targeted therapy

This is the name given to new drug treatments designed specifically to interfere with the way that cancer cells grow.  Some drugs such as Herceptin for breast cancer are being used routinely and we are involved in trials for other, new targeted therapy drugs. We provide biological therapies at each of our hospitals that provide cancer care.

Biological or targeted therapy is provided at Barts Cancer Centre, Newham University Hospital and Whipps Cross University Hospital.

Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy is the use of drugs to treat the whole body and to kill cancer cells wherever they might spread. Most typically, these are given as an intravenous infusion via a drip, although some chemotherapy drugs can be given in tablet form. Chemotherapy drugs can be given on their own, but are frequently given in combination. Treatment is usually given every few weeks for a variable duration, but typically lasting several months. The drugs given and their frequency will depend on the type of cancer.

All side effects will be carefully explained and ways to avoid/treat them will be discussed by the teams involved in your care. The majority of side effects are temporary and will resolve on completion of treatment. Your clinical nurse specialist and doctors will explain specific side effects of the drugs you are receiving.

The majority of patients requiring chemotherapy at our hospitals will receive their treatment as an outpatient. These facilities are provided in the following locations:

  • Barts Cancer Centre – ward 7A of the new King George V building. This ward has been located for the best views of the city of London, and patient treatment areas are light, spacious with comfortable chairs.
  • Newham University Hospital – chemotherapy day unit on the first floor of the hospital corridor leading to East Ham and West Ham wards.
  • Whipps Cross University Hospital – Woodlands day Unit on Margaret Close, near the James Lane entrance.

Some patients may require overnight stays in hospital, but this will be discussed with you prior to treatment.

Chemotherapy is provided at the Barts Cancer Centre, Newham University Hospital and Whipps Cross University Hospital.

CyberKnife

We have the latest in CyberKnife technology, which uses non-invasive (no actual knives are involved), high dose radiotherapy to treat particular types of cancer in all parts of the body.

The CyberKnife machine consists of a robotic arm, and a compact linear accelerator, that can be moved all around the body of a patient to deliver high dose radiation where required. It is so accurate that it avoids surrounding health tissue and can reduce the need for conventional surgery. It also requires fewer treatments than conventional radiotherapy.

The technology allows doctors to track and detect the exact position of a tumour during treatment. So if a patient moves, or the tumour shifts slightly while a patient breathes, the machine will automatically correct and adjust its position relative to the movement.

Treatment times are generally longer than with conventional radiotherapy, but it requires fewer visits to the department and the comfort of patients during treatment is always accommodated.

CyberKnife is provided at the Barts Cancer Centre.

Gamma knife radiosurgery

We have the most up-to-date equipment in the world. This means that our specialists are able to diagnose a patient’s particular cancer faster, more accurately and treat it in the most effective way possible using equipment not available in many other hospitals.

Our gamma knife service is one of only five available to NHS patients in the country and the only NHS service in London. This state-of-the-art technology is used to treat different types of brain tumour and it works by targeting a single dose of radiation precisely on the tumour and therefore minimising damage to surrounding healthy tissue. It allows surgeons and oncologists to treat specific areas within the skull without making a single incision.  As there is no open surgery the complications normally associated with an operation are eliminated, as is the need for a long recovery time.

Another advantage of gamma knife treatment is that unlike brain surgery, the patient has a local, rather than general, anaesthetic and is often well enough to go back to work the following day. 

In most cases, it is effective after one single dose and can be used for many different types of lesions: benign and malignant tumours as well as vascular and functional targets in the brain.

The treatment process starts with an MRI scan to locate the exact position of the targets(s).  Patients wear a special 3D head frame which can be seen on the MRI imaging equipment, allowing doctors to map the lesion's exact position.

The frame also keeps the patient’s head completely rigid to ensure total accuracy when targeting and delivering radiation during the gamma knife treatment.

Until recently, the gamma knife treatment was only available for NHS patients through private clinics and hospitals in London.  Now these patients are able to undergo their entire treatment at a single location at Barts Health NHS Trust.

The gamma knife is highly effective with a success rate of up to 95% for certain benign tumours.  It also has a better success rate than surgery for secondary tumours in the brain. The equipment is safe, accurate and reliable. Because of this accuracy, it is now possible to treat tumours previously thought to be inoperable such as those near the brainstem and optic nerves. In most cases the procedure stops the growth of tumours, which may subsequently reduce in size over a period of time.

Gamma knife radiosurgery is provided at the Barts Cancer Centre.

Radiotherapy

Our comprehensive radiotherapy service offers state-of-the-art treatments for patients with cancer.

We have five modern linear accelerators (linacs), a CyberKnife unit that can deliver high dose radiation where required, and an Orthovoltage unit that delivers effective treatments for skin cancer, other dermatological disorders as well as providing palliation for secondary lesions.

We also provide:

  • External beam radiotherapy - this uses radiation beams directed at the cancer from a machine outside the body.
  • Radioactive drug treatment - for thyroid cancer, and other neuroendocrine cancers.

The majority of patients requiring radiotherapy at Barts Cancer Centre will receive treatment in our radiotherapy department situated in the basement of the new King George V building.

Radiotherapy is provided at the Barts Cancer Centre.

Surgery

The aim of surgical treatment is to remove the cancer along with some surrounding normal tissue to ensure it has been completely removed. In addition, surgery often will search for any signs of spread by taking biopsies of other tissues such as lymph nodes.

While often surgery will be the first treatment option, this does depend on the type of cancer and the site. The range of surgical options is enormous but, if you require surgery, you will be operated on by surgeons who are experts in surgery for their particular cancer. The multidisciplinary team ensures that you are offered the best combination of surgery and when necessary, chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

Surgery is provided at the Barts Cancer Centre, The Royal London Hospital and Whipps Cross University Hospital

Support for cancer patients

We provide comprehensive support services for patients who have been diagnosed with cancer, as well as support for their carers’ and families. In addition to the expert medical care, patients can access one-to-one support in the Macmillan Cancer Information and Support Centres available onsite at Whipps Cross University Hospital, Newham University Hospital and St Bartholomew’s Hospital.

Find out more about our Macmillan Cancer Information and Support Centres here.

Eye

Moorfields Eye Hospital address

Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
162 City Road,
London, EC1V 2PD

Find out how to get to Moorfields Eye Hospital here.

Appointment enquiries

For appointment enquiries please call 020 7566 2357 extension: 4818

Referral information for healthcare professionals

For referrals from within Moorfields including satellite sites

Email: Ocularoncology.referrals@moorfields.nhs.uk
Tel: 020 7566 2357 x4818

From other hospitals

Email: Meh-tr.ocularoncology@nhs.net
Tel: 020 7566 2357 x4818
Fax: 020 7566 2073 Please use this as a last resort as email contact is preferred.

Queries from GPs or optoms

Email: Meh-tr.ocularoncology@nhs.net
Tel: 020 7253 3411 (and ask for bookings)

Oesophagogastric

Our regional specialist team provides specialist expertise for all patients diagnosed within at the Trust and also at the Homerton Hospital. We also take referrals from outside this area according to patient choice.

We provide services which include:

Diagnostic and therapeutic endoscopy

Endoscopy facilities are provided to undertake gastroscopy , Barretts oesophagus screening and stent insertion on all Barts Health sites. Endoscopic ultrasound  is performed at the Royal London Hospital. Endoscopic mucosal resection is performed at The Royal London Hospital and Whipps Cross.  Patients who require endoscopic laser treatment are usually referred to University College Hospital.

Gastroscopy

If your GP or specialist is concerned that you have symptoms suggestive of oesophageal or gastric cancer, he/she would request a diagnostic gastroscopy.

Endoscopic ultrasound

This is a special type of endoscopy which combines visual endoscopic views of the stomach and oesophagus with a small ultrasound scanner. This will provide very detailed images of the wall of the stomach and oesophagus and surrounding structures.

Endoscopic stent

A stent may be required if there is narrowing of the oesophagus and sometimes stomach. A stent is a short tube which the doctor places in the narrow area to help you to swallow. The tube is made of stainless steel mesh which is inserted through a small plastic tube, once in the right position it is released and expands to fit the size of your gullet.

Back to top

Multidisciplinary team working

The Upper GI Multidisciplinary team consists of a number of specialist doctors,  nurses and other healthcare workers including surgeons, radiologists (experts in X-rays and scans), gastroenterologists, oncologists (cancer specialists), pathologists, palliative care nurses, clinical nurse specialists, dieticians and a team co-ordinator.

The Multidisciplinary approach enables the best possible decision to be made regarding treatment required on an individual basis.

Weekly team meetings are held to discuss new and followup patients' treatment. Following this a permanent record is placed in the patient notes and communicated to the GP and any Hospital doctor involved in the patient’s treatment.

Key worker

All of our patients are allocated a key worker. This person is a named nurse who is responsible for providing the necessary co-ordination and communication with other team members, as well as being a valuable source of support to patients and carers.

The key worker may change during the treatment pathway depending on further referrals. Patients are informed who their key worker is at the time of diagnosis.

The key worker should be the first point of contact if a patient has queries relating to care and will be the link to the members of the multidisciplinary team.

Back to top

Investigations - CT scan, PET scan, MRI scan, Barium studies

If a cancer of the oesophagus or stomach is identified, staging investigations are required to look for evidence of spread of disease. A computerised tomography (CT) scan of the chest abdomen and pelvis is performed in all patients. More detailed information may require further scans including magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and positron emission tomography (PET). Barium swallow or meal may be needed to provide additional information.

Barium studies, CT and MRI scanning is available on all Barts Health sites and PET scan is available at St Bartholomew’s hospital.

Back to top

Medical oncology

There are three GI medical oncology consultants. Oncology clinics are held at St Bartholomew’s, Whipps Cross, Newham and Homerton hospitals. Chemotherapy can be delivered at Newham, Homerton and St Bartholomews. The chemotherapy service at Barts Health is open seven days a week with extended hours to allow patient choice as much as possible. A homecare service is being utilised for the provision of some oral chemotherapy, but the strategic direction is for the provision of treatment closer to home, whether that is patient’s home, local GP centre, local hospital, or possibly at work.

Neoadjuvant chemotherapy is offered to all patients who meet the criteria for this, and who are deemed fit enough to receive this treatment. Adjuvant chemotherapy is considered for those patients deemed fit enough to receive this post operatively and chemoradiotherapy for patients at high risk of recurrence.

Dietician support and advice is available at all sites. Nutritional assessment is undertaken prior to commencement of chemotherapy and jejunostomy feeding may be required in cases with severe dysphagia. This can be rapidly arranged by the surgical teams if required.

Back to top

Clinical oncology

There are two Upper GI clinical oncologists within Barts Health. Radiotherapy provision is at the Barts site. There are five RapidArc-enabled Linear accelerators, a Cyberknife, an orthovoltage unit and a microselectron HDR Brachytherapy machine. Intensity Modulated radiotherapy is being developed for upper GI malignancies, built on extensive experience on its use in head and neck cancer.

Back to top

Surgery

The Royal London Hospital is the designated regional centre for specialist surgery of the oesophagus and stomach for Barts Health and the Homerton Hospitals. There are four consultant surgeons in the team. Specialist oesophagogastric surgical outpatient clinics take place at St Bartholomew's, The Royal London, Whipps Cross and Homerton. We undertake all modalities of oesophageal and gastric resectional including minimally invasive procedures on The Royal London site.

Most patients are admitted on the day of surgery having attended the anaesthetic preassessment clinic. After surgery patients may be nursed on the GI surgical ward or critical care unit depending on clinical needs. Information leaflets about admission to the hospital, gastrectomy and oesophagectomy are available.

Back to top

Specialist anaesthesia

The team is supported by two specialist upper gastrointestinal anaesthetists experienced in thoracic anaesthesia, who also work as intensive care clinicians, and are active members of the MDT.

All patients will attend the anaesthetic preasessment clinic prior to admission for surgery. This will involve assessment by an anaesthetist or intensivist who specialises in pre operative assessment. Cardiac and respiratory investigations my be required or cardiopulmonary exercise testing.

Back to top

Clinical trials and research

All patients are considered for clinical trials at the time of the multidisciplinary team meeting. They ensure patients have access to trials at all stages of their cancer treatment, ranging from phase I to III. For metastatic oesophago-gastric cancers the phase I trials are performed in collaboration with Sarah Cannon, Research UK, under his supervision.

Back to top

Rehabilitation and psychology

Tower Hamlets Cancer Survivorship Project was initiated by the Therapies team for Cancer Services at St Bartholomew’s Hospital early in 2011 and was commissioned by Tower Hamlets PCT. It aims to help local residents living with and beyond cancer understand and take charge of their life after cancer and to promote physical health and emotional well-being. It is hoped the programme will mirror findings from USA pilots and improve quality of life and increase physical activity amongst local residents living with and beyond cancer.

Find out more about the survivorship program by visiting our dedicated section here.

End of Life Care

End of life care support to our MDT is provided by a palliative care clinical nurse specialist and palliative care teams both in the hospital and in the community. It is closely linked with primary care and community services.

Within Barts Health, there is an inpatient provision at St Joseph’s Hospice and 12 beds at the Margaret Centre on the Whipps Cross site.

Back to top

Patient support and information

The multifaith team of chaplains are available to provide spiritual, pastoral and religious support too families at all sites within the trust. We offer a confidential service providing the opportunity to talk through concerns, whatever your faith beliefs or philosophical position. If you would like to speak with a chaplain, please ask a member of staff to contact us for you or you can call on 020 3594 2070.

Find more useful resources in the useful website section on the top right of this page.

Back to top

Gynaecological

We provide a gynaecological cancer service for the whole of north east London and have strong links to other hospitals in north and east London and west Essex such as Queens Hospital in Romford (Joint Cancer Centre).

We work closely within London Cancer which is a collaborative group of north and east London and west Essex hospitals which was set up to maintain and improve care for cancer patients. However, we accept referrals from all over the country and are recognised nationally and internationally as a centre of excellence.

Treatments

The treatments we offer depend on the type of condition you have, but for those diagnosed with cancer it will depend on the stage of cancer but will always consider any other individual needs. This is discussed in detail with every patient by one of our medical team, once a diagnosis has been made.

Prostate

Patients have access to the latest diagnostic and therapeutic technologies and therapies and have the opportunity to take part a large number of leading clinical trials. Our care is tailored to each patient allowing them to be involved in every step of their pathway.

The prostate gland is located between the bladder and the ‘waterpipe’ known as the urethra and also immediately in front of the rectum. Its function is to produce the majority of the fluid within a man’s ejaculate. The gland is closely associated with the nerves responsible for enabling male erections as well as being integral to a man’s urinary control.

Diagnosis

Men referred for investigation of possible prostate cancer will have access to the latest and most advanced prostate cancer diagnostic tests. All men with suspected prostate cancer will undergo state-of-the-art multiparametric 3T Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) of the prostate. Only once the prostate is imaged will the patient be offered a prostate biopsy. By performing prostate imaging before biopsy, we are able to carry out targeted prostate biopsies instead of performing random prostate biopsies. In addition, by performing MRI imaging before biopsy, different prostate biopsy protocols including perineal template mapping biopsies – a type of specialist biopsy which is not readily available in many centres, can be appropriately selected.

Back to top

Multidisciplinary care

Because each man’s prostate cancer evolves differently over time, our expert team will tailor your care, calling upon the experience within our multi-disciplinary team (MDT). The treatment we recommend will depend not only on your latest diagnostic tests, but also on the history of your prostate cancer and any treatments you have received in the past.

After your diagnostic tests are complete, you will be seen in one of our specialist prostate cancer clinics. These clinics are attended by urological surgeons, clinical oncologists, medical oncologists, clinical nurse specialists and research nurses who will come together to discuss the treatment options available for your prostate cancer, including the opportunity of involvement in clinical trials.  We understand that this is a difficult time for patients, and we have extensive experience in helping men and their families evaluate their options for treatment. You will be allocated a keyworker who will be a nurse with specialist training in prostate cancer treatment.  He or she will be your link person to the whole of the prostate cancer team. 

Back to top

Radical Therapy - surgical treatment

Radical prostatectomy which is the surgical removal of the prostate is one of the most common treatments for men diagnosed with prostate cancer. Men are potential candidates for surgery if they have localised or locally advanced non-metastatic prostate cancer or if they have recurrent prostate cancer after some other prostate cancer treatment such as brachytherapy or external beam radiation therapy.

Radical prostatectomy is a highly complicated operation best performed by surgeons highly specialist in the procedure. All prostate cancer therapies are associated with side effects due to the location of the prostate within the body. These side effects include urinary and sexual dysfunction.

Men choosing to undergo surgery will have the opportunity to have their surgery performed by some of the highest volume prostate cancer surgeons in the country. Furthermore, the majority of men will have the opportunity to have their surgery performed in a minimally invasive (Key-hole) manner using the da Vinci® robotic surgical system. Robotic prostate cancer surgery has been demonstrated to be associated with better short-term outcome in terms of shorter hospital stay, lower requirement for blood transfusion and lower incidence of post-operative discomfort . In addition, there is emerging evidence to suggest better long-term outcome in terms of urinary control and sexual function.

In addition to performing nerve sparing surgery where the nerves for erectile function are maintained to enable recovery of sexual function after robotic prostate cancer surgery, our surgeons also have extensive expertise in performing surgery for men with high-risk locally advanced prostate cancer where the cancer has spread outside the prostate gland but not spread to other organs. Surgery is often performed in this setting as part of a ‘multimodal approach’ where men sequence their therapy undergoing radiation therapy in addition to their primary surgery.

Surgeons at the Trust also have considerable experience in performing complex robotic salvage surgery for men experiencing recurrent prostate cancer after initial treatment such as radiation therapy, brachytherapy or minimally invasive therapy such as high intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU).

Men choosing surgery for their prostate cancer will also have the opportunity of entering the Neptune Trial (see clinical trials section) which is a nationally recognised clinical trials evaluating the use of a novel prostate cancer treatment prior to their surgery.

After prostate cancer therapies such as surgery, a proportion of men will experience side effects of treatment, either in the short-term or for a protracted period. Men have early access to a number of specialist clinics designed to manage men experiencing the side effects of therapy.

Back to top

Radical Therapy - radiation treatment

Radiotherapy is the use of high-energy x-rays or radioactive seeds to treat cancer cells. 

We provide a high quality radiotherapy service and lead in the introduction of technical innovation in radiotherapy for prostate cancer.  We use state of the art linear accelerators, advanced computer systems and advanced technology imaging to deliver curative treatment to the prostate gland, whilst minimising dose to the surrounding tissues.   

We have been pioneers in the use of the very latest technologies for treating prostate cancer such as RapidArc and Intensity Modulated treatments and have one of the highest rates of usage of these techniques in the country. As leaders in the use of Image Guided techniques we ensure that treatment targeting is optimised.  Barts Health is also a specialist centre for the delivery of brachytherapy treatment for prostate cancer.  This is carried out using real-time image guidance and sophisticated computer software to accurately map the prostate. 

Our highly trained and specialised team of doctors, medical physicists, therapy radiographers and nurses work together to ensure treatment is given safely and within millimetre accuracy. 

Our radiotherapy treatment options include:

  • external beam radiotherapy, including Image-Guided Radiotherapy and RapidArc treatment
  • internal radiotherapy (brachytherapy) using radioactive seed insertion

Back to top

Specialist palliative care

Specialist palliative care aims to improve quality of life for patients and their families facing life-threatening or life-limiting illness. This is achieved through the holistic assessment of physical, psychological, social and spiritual problems. Patients are encouraged to take an active part in decisions around their care to promote a sense of control and dignity.

We see patients with advanced progressive illnesses (both cancer and non-cancer). The team has specialist skills in pain and symptom management.

In the early stages of illness, palliative care may be provided alongside other active treatments. For patients at the end of their life we are committed to appropriate end of life care to ensure comfort and dignity in death. Families, partners and carers may also need expert support in bereavement.

All teams will liaise with and update the GP and local services including community palliative care teams, district nurses, social workers and carers to ensure the best possible care at home.

Specialist palliative care is available at all of our hospitals.

Hospital palliative care teams

Our palliative care teams are advisory services which work alongside the referring team but do not take over the patient's care completely. The teams see patients from any ward or service where pain or other symptoms are difficult to control, patients or their families are distressed and where help is needed to plan future care. They may be contacted for advice and support by any member of staff. Team members will make initial assessments, offer advice, liaise with other staff and maintain contact during admission. They may also follow individuals up as outpatients where this is necessary. There are three hospital palliative care teams.

The Macmillan palliative care team for The Royal London, St Bartholomew’s and Mile End

Based at St Bartholomew’s Hospital the team consists of nurse specialists, doctors, social workers and clinical psychologists, with training and experience in palliative care.

We also have access to the full range of multi-disciplinary services including occupational therapy, physiotherapy, dietetics, and chaplaincy.

Contact details

Tel: 020 3465 5600
Fax: 020 3465 5389

The Macmillan palliative care team at Newham

The team consists of nurses and doctors who are trained in palliative care. a social worker and clinical psychologists. We also have access to the full range of multi-disciplinary services including occupational therapy, physiotherapy, dietetics and chaplaincy.

Contact details

Tel: 020 7363 8105
Fax: 020 7363 9432

Whipps Cross University Hospital Palliative Care Team

Based at the Margaret Centre, the team consists of nurses and doctors who are trained in palliative care. They have access to the other professionals within the Centre (see below).

Contact details

Tel: 020 8539 5522 ext: 5288
Direct line: 020 8535 6605
Fax: 020 8535 6952

The Margaret Centre, in patient unit/hospice

The Margaret Centre is a 12 bedded specialist palliative care unit based at Whipps Cross. There are six single and three shared (double) rooms. People are admitted for various reasons including help with distressing symptoms, respite and end of life care. The average length of stay is seven to ten days. There is a kitchen and day room for the use of patients and visitors. We aim to provide a caring environment and our visiting hours are 10am-10pm, with visiting at other times at the discretion of the senior nurse, to allow people to spend as much time as they need with loved ones.

The team includes nurses and doctors who are trained in palliative medicine, junior doctors in training, social worker, complementary therapists, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, chaplaincy and psychological services.

On discharge individuals may be followed up by the community palliative care team or in outpatient clinic where this is necessary.

Contact details for the palliative care team at Whipps Cross

Tel: 020 8539 5522 ext: 5288
Direct line: 020 8535 6605
Fax: 020 8535 6952
Email: margaretcentre@bartshealth.nhs.uk  

The Margaret Centre is located in Margaret Close in the Green Zone at the hospital. The nearest access is from the James Lane entrance to the hospital at Margaret Close or opposite Byron Ward in Margaret Road.

Waltham Forest Community palliative care team

The Community palliative care team for Waltham Forest is based at the Margaret Centre. Our team includes nurses and doctors who are trained in palliative medicine, social worker, complementary therapists, occupational therapists, chaplaincy and psychological services.

As well as working directly with patients and families we provide advice and support to other professionals in the community including GPs and district nurses. The patients GP or hospital consultant will remain primarily responsible for their care and we will liaise with them when making any changes or recommendations

Contact us

Tel: 020 8535 6714
Fax: 020 8535 6952

Other boroughs will have their own community palliative care services based elsewhere. All the teams work very closely with them to try and ensure continuity of care for individuals.

Macmillan cancer support

Cancer patients, their relatives and friends, or anyone affected by cancer can access expert cancer information covering the entire range of cancers, its treatment, psychosocial issues, lifestyle issues and financial matters. Health professionals who may find the resources useful to share with their patients are also welcome.

The Macmillan centres provide confidential, drop-in service including one-to-one support, information booklets on all aspects of cancer, welfare and benefits advice, free guided internet access and details of other local and national support agencies and services.

Macmillan cancer centre at St Bartholomew's Hospital

Location: Ground floor of the West Wing. Just drop in or call us on 020 346 56611. If you are calling outside opening hours ring Macmillan free on 0800 808 00 00 or visit the Macmillan website.

Open Monday to Friday, 10am to 12 noon and 2pm-4.30pm (except bank holidays).

Macmillan cancer centre at Newham University Hospital

Location: Ground floor of the St Andrews Wing.
Open Monday to Friday, 9am-4.30pm (except bank holidays).

Find out about disabled access to the Centre here.

Macmillan Cancer centre at Whipps Cross University Hospital

Location: Junction 4 on the main hospital corridor.
Open Monday to Friday, 10am-4pm (except bank holidays)

Back to top

Information

Throughout your treatment with us, you will receive a range of information leaflets and other materials that will help to explain the treatments and procedures that you will undergo. You will be fully supported by your clinical nurse specialist and medical team who will provide you with individualised information about your treatment.

When you’re affected by cancer, having the right kind of information and support, at the right time, is essential. The Macmillan centres at three of our hospitals provide this type of support.

Back to top

Information prescription service

Information prescriptions are an approach to providing information to people with long-term conditions. Barts Health is committed to improving the experience of patients with cancer by providing accurate and timely information in the right format. By using the information prescriptions tool – a national programme between Macmillan Cancer Support, Cancer Research UK and the National Cancer Action Team – our professionals can provide more personalised information to patients to support them at key points during their pathway.

The tool is being piloted at two of our hospitals; St Bartholomew’s and Newham University Hospital.

Information prescriptions can be viewed through the information prescription service via the NHS Choices website.

Maggie's Centre

Maggie's Centres provide free practical, emotional and social support to people with cancer and their families and friends. Built in the grounds of NHS hospitals but run by an independent charity, Maggie’s Centres complement the work of the NHS. At Maggie’s Barts, our specialist staff offer one-to-one advice as well as group sessions, workshops and courses aimed at helping to address the physical and psychological impact of living with cancer. 

Maggie’s Barts is the beautiful opaque glass building in The Square, in the middle of St Bartholomew’s Hospital, next to the North Wing and Great Hall. 

Drop-in times: Monday - Friday, 9am – 5pm
Tel: 0203 904 3448
Email: barts@maggiescentres.org

Maggie's Centre at St Bartholomew's Hospital

 

Psychological support

Working with the medical and allied health team

The team offers advice and consultation to doctors, nurses and allied health professionals to enable them to better support their patients.

Working with patients and their families

Psychologists in the team offer assessments and where appropriate, short term interventions for patients and their families regarding issues such as:

  • depression and anxiety
  • treatment related difficulties
  • fear of recurrence and living with uncertainty
  • end of life issues including decisions about treatment and complex bereavement reactions

As the service does not accept self referrals, if you are interested in seeing a psychologist please talk to your clinical nurse specialist in the first instance who can discuss what might be most appropriate for you and what options are available.

Managing Cancer workshops

The Managing Cancer psychology workshops are a series of workshops that provide information and support to patients, their family and friends. Topics cover different aspects of the patient experience, such as:

  • dealing with a diagnosis
  • talking about cancer to others
  • stress, relaxation and resilience
  • sleep and fatigue
  • body Image
  • sexuality and sexual relationships
  • after the treatment finishes

You can attend the workshops which are relevant to you and do not need to attend all workshops. You can come along on your own or bring someone with you. 

The workshops are 90 minutes long and are held on Tuesday mornings throughout the year in the Conference Centre, Ground Floor, West Wing, St  Bartholowmew’s Hospital.  

For more information including the dates of forthcoming workshops speak to your clinical nurse specialist or telephone the Macmillan Cancer Information centre at St Bartholowmew’s Hospital on 020 3465 6611.

Art therapy

Art therapy is a form of psychotherapy that uses visual art as another way of expressing and working through thoughts and feelings. Some things are difficult to put into words and art therapists are trained to enable patients to use art materials as a way of exploring a range of personal issues. There can be a lot of talking too - how the art making and the verbal discussion combine in art therapy is determined by the needs of each individual.

For a person living with the diagnosis of cancer and the events which follow, art therapy can be a valuable part of the treatment programme, offering psychological support and contributing to improved general wellbeing.

Art therapy is suitable for working on a wide range of issues related to cancer and its treatments such as:

  • identity and body image
  • coping with change, loss and uncertainty
  • meaning and existential questions
  • depression, anxiety and stress

Art therapy is not an art lesson and it is not necessary to have any previous experience or expertise in art. Nor does the art therapist judge whether the art is ‘good’ or ‘bad’, or make a clinical diagnosis based on the work produced.

Contact us

For more information contact Megan Tjasink, Art Psychotherapist (MAT) (HCPC) (BAAT), or ask a member of your healthcare team to refer you.

Tel: 020 3465 5516
Email: Megan.Tjasink@bartshealth.nhs.uk

Art therapy at St Bartholomew’s is provided through the generous support of the Corinne Burton Memorial Trust.

Cancer transitions programme

The programme aims to provide you with information and practical guidance on:

  • how to adjust and find a “new normality” after active treatment in hospital
  • how to cope with negative feelings or issues you may have as a result of your diagnosis (e.g. worries, effects on relationships, body image)
  • how to make the most of your appointments with healthcare professionals
  • how to maintain a healthy lifestyle by eating well and exercising regularly
  • how to take better control of your health and actively manage your life

The course also provides a weekly exercise session of 45 minutes which is tailored towards your current fitness level.

You will also have the opportunity to share thoughts and ideas with people in similar situations, as well as to learn from experts in the field of cancer (i.e. dietitians, doctors, physiotherapists and psychologists).

If you are interested in taking part in the programme it is recommended that you attend all six sessions.

Should you wish to be accompanied by someone close to you, you are most welcome.

Contact us

To find out more about the cancer transitions programme contact:

Claus Buscher
Macmillan Educational Programme Specialist for Cancer Survivors
c/o Physiotherapy Department at Barts Cancer Centre
Tel. 020 346 55645 (Monday to Thursday)
email: claus.buscher@bartshealth.nhs.uk