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Hello Paul

Thanks for asking. The telephone helpline is being set up. A number has been obtained and voice messages recorded for a menu driven help system for:

  • information about early signs of mouth cancer
  • access to a professional counselling service for mouth (head and neck) cancer patients and families in the United Kingdom
  • access to someone with similar experiences for patients and carers to talk to.

We are also planning to provide basic training and support for our patient and carer volunteers who will be returning calls to those who have requested to speak to a patient or carer.

We are waiting for the technical bits about the telephone service to be set up. And I need to go to London to meet the people who will be providing the training session for our volunteers.

Sorry, it is all taking time but we have had a couple of false starts when it got over-complicated and required a rethink!

Best wishes

Vinod Coffee
Last edited by drvinodkjoshi
Dear Friends

I am pleased to inform you that arrangements have at last been finalised for our telephone based support service for mouth cancer patients and carers. The Mouth Cancer Foundation is now working with the Cancer Counselling Trust to provide the telephone counselling service which will provide access to both a specialist head and neck cancer trained CCT counsellor and MCF volunteers comprising carers and survivors.

Training for MCF Volunteer Network members:
Volunteers are being invited to attend a training session organised by the Cancer Counselling Trust at their offices in London on Friday 8th February 2008 from 11:00 am-5:00 pm. CCT have experience with training and already provide training to health professionals such as (nurses) at Macmillan and Cancer Research UK. CCT will also provide supervision sesions for our volunteers. This would be at a fixed time for a volunteer to discuss with the supervisor any ‘cases’ handled. CCT will also provide ongoing supervision for our volunteers so that they in turn have access to professional support, if required. Some of these issues will be discussed at the training day. The training session would be a good opportunity for volunteers and the counsellor to get acquainted with one another. MCF will reimburse your expenses in attending this necessary training day.

How the Telephone Support Service will work:
We plan to start advertising this service using our 01924 950 950 automated helpline number. The fully automated 01924 950 950 helpline service will send an email of the recorded message requesting the service to MCF office for triage. When there is a request to speak to a carer or survivor, members of the MCF volunteer network will be contact seeking a volunteer to respond. In this way, nobody will be 'on-call' or under pressure to take on a call. All requests for access to a professional counsellor received by MCF would be sent to CCT. The CCT counsellor will call the person requesting help. There would be an integration of the two arms of the support service but all cross-referrals to the CCT counsellor from our volunteers would be through MCF office.

If you are interested in volunteering and are available for the training session day in February, please email me, using the message board's private messaging facility, as soon as possible.

Best wishes

Dr Vinod K Joshi
BDS(Singapore) DRDRCS(Edinburgh) FDSRCPS(Glasgow) FDSRCS(England)
Founder and Chief Executive
Mouth Cancer Foundation
Last edited by drvinodkjoshi

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