The Duke meets with patients who have received psychological support

HRH The Duke of Cambridge discusses mental health support with staff and patients

HRH The Duke of Cambridge visited The Royal Marsden to speak to patients and staff about the impact of cancer treatment on mental health and psychological wellbeing.

HRH The Duke of Cambridge visited The Royal Marsden on 4th July, he met with members of staff and patients who have used the psychological support services, funded by supporters of The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity. 

As part of the visit, The Duke also met with Pauline Gore, widow of Professor Martin Gore, who died suddenly on 10 January. Professor Gore was an oncologist at The Royal Marsden for 40 years including 10 years as Medical Director.

He also visited patients in Ellis Ward, which specialises in the care of female patients undergoing investigations, treatments and symptom control for breast, gynaecological, urological and gastrointestinal cancers.

The Ward was redesigned and refurbished thanks to a generous gift from Royal Marsden Cancer Charity supporter Mr James Thomas.

Staff who received psychological support meet with The Duke

Providing psychological support to those affected by cancer. 

At The Royal Marsden we recognise that having cancer can be distressing and lead people to experience anxiety, sadness, anger, and depression. In addition some treatments and types of cancer have a negative impact on mood and the ability to think clearly. Alongside the care patients receive from doctors, nurses and other health professionals The Royal Marsden offers a dedicated and confidential psychological support service.

The Duke spoke to Julie Gallagher, who received psychological support from The Royal Marsden team following her second diagnosis of throat cancer in 2018.

He also met with Huw Jones and his wife Kate who both received counselling from the Family Support Service Team after Huw was diagnosed with a rare cancer of the appendix, which has a high rate of recurrence.

I self-referred to the psychological support team after undergoing treatment. My wife Kate and l had five sessions of couples counselling which gave us a safe space to talk about our feelings together and the uncertainty about the future. The sessions were invaluable and helped us both to voice our fears and consider how we manage the future. I can’t thank the counsellor and the team enough.

The Duke meets patients on Ellis Ward

Charity funded services 

The service is fully funded by supporters of The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity and provides access to specialists such as:

  • Cancer specialist nurse counsellors
  • Clinical and counselling psychologists
  • Psychosexual therapist and an art therapist
  • One to one therapy sessions as well as therapy for couples and families.

Support for children and young people 

We also have a dedicated team for psychological care of children and young people, who work very closely with medical and nursing colleagues, play specialists and teachers. The diagnosis of a child or young person can be hugely stressful for the family, the specialist team will work with any member of the family to offer psychological therapy, support and advice. They are available to talk about how having a diagnosis of cancer affects everyone in the family and how it may change people’s behaviour and feelings.

We can only provide this important service to both patients and staff, with the generous donations of our supporters.