‘Far less daunting’: Needle phobia treatment injected into Manchester cancer unit

‘Wonderful’ calming techniques have been introduced at a Manchester hospital’s mobile chemotherapy unit in order treat patients who suffer from anxiety and a phobia of needles.

Nursing staff at The Christie Hospital’s mobile unit have been trained to impart calming methods such as breathing exercises and creative visualisation.

This is in order to help needle-phobic patients receive care in more comfortable conditions.

Thousands suffer from a fear of needles, which adds trauma to an already uncomfortable treatment.

Patients who attend the mobile unit have already noticed a difference in their personal experiences.

Norah Lees, a Christie mobile chemotherapy unit patient from Urmston said: “I developed an anxiety and a fear of coming in for treatment.

‘LESS DAUNTING’: Norah Lees having a relaxing hand massage before treatment

“But the wonderful nurses and calming techniques that they use with us make it is far less daunting.

“If anything can be wonderful when you have cancer, the mobile chemotherapy unit is.”

The new training brings care to the same level as The Christie’s main Withington site, and will be rolled out to further Christie outreach locations by the end of the year.

Increased comfort for patients allows the bespoke £700,000 unit to easier reach its full potential of treating 20 patients each day in five sites across Greater Manchester.

Chemotherapy outreach manager at The Christie, Vicki Burns, said: “It’s normal for patients to experience feelings of anxiety, worry or panic at times.

“Some patients can develop a fear of needles which can make their treatment feel extremely daunting.”

The nurses’ training was funded by The Christie charity, which has more than 30,000 supporters and raised £13.3million last year with 83% going directly to patients.

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