Background and Context:
On a yearly basis the The Danish Cancer Society counsel cancer patients and relatives up to 90.000 times. From our users we have learned that the psychosocial needs can appear early and that patients emphasize easy access to psychosocial counselling in a non hospital environment.
Inspired by the concept of healing architecture, our aim was to build seven counselling centrers next door to cancer treatment and initiate a successful partnership between the Danish Cancer Society and the hospitals to the advantage of people affected by cancer.
Our strategy was to offer extraordinary buildings to uplift people affected by cancer by providing a place for support, rest and recovery. We also engaged in creating different platforms for our professional counsellors to meet with hospital staff for knowledge sharing and skills training.
The new counselling centres offer drop-in counselling and a variety of innovative and well documented patient support activities i.e. an evidence based programme for physical activity for patients undergoing chemotherapy, mindfulness and the facilitation of meetings with peers. Also many more volunteers have been engaged.
Outcomes/What was learned: We have achieved an output beyond the reach of the partners’ individual efforts. Our collaboration with hospitals has worked well because we have partnered with like services who have an early intervention focus and offer a compatible service to ours. We see an increase in patients coming, they are contacting us earlier and our experiences indicate that our users have a broader socio-economic background than before.