About this service

What is a key worker?

While receiving care, you will usually will have a main point of contact called a key worker. This is usually a clinical nurse specialist (CNS) or a specialist radiographer.

Your key worker is an important member of the Multi Disciplinary Team (MDT) specialists working together to support you.

You may meet your key worker at your first appointment, or after you have been diagnosed.

They will explain your tests and treatment options and support you and your family. You will also be given written information about the type of cancer you have, and other sources of information and support.

Your key worker may change as you go through different treatments such as surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

They support you by:

  • providing one-to-one care and support
  • helping you to understand and get through your treatment, including managing any side effects or symptoms
  • communicating between members of your care team such as your GP, practice nurse, community nurse and social worker
  • giving you details of support groups and other organisations that you may find helpful. Contact details will be in your Patient information file
    Your key worker will have an answerphone

If you experience difficulty contacting your key worker and need to speak to someone please ring the Cancer Support and Information Centre on 01473 715748 (for Ipswich) or the Wellbeing Centre (for Colchester) on 01206 745347/745349.



Cancer Care Navigators

This is a service open to anyone who has recently been diagnosed with cancer in Ipswich and Colchester hospitals.

Our navigators will make contact with all newly-diagnosed patients to help them get the right help and support with all their non-medical needs. Patients who are already diagnosed can also contact us for any help, information or support.

When a patient has been diagnosed, we make contact to offer practical support and advice, which might include:

  • helping improve health and wellbeing
  • pointing towards relevant cancer support groups and courses
  • referrals for emotional support where needed, and identifying who may be best placed for support
  • advising on how to talk to family and friends about cancer
  • access to services and support in your local area
  • access to practical support
  • support with the transition back to daily life, as your care moves from hospital back home or in the community.

We will arrange a time to talk through all your needs on the phone and help you to identify any key concerns so we can point you towards the best support and services for you.

You can self-refer to the service by contacting us below or you may be referred by a healthcare professional.

The contact details for the service are:

Monday to Friday, between 9am and 5pm (answerphone facility out of hours)

Ipswich Hospital: 01473 702125

Colchester Hospital: 01206 487288

Email: cancercarenavigators@esneft.nhs.uk






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