TRAFFORD’S Macmillan Wellbeing Centre welcomed a visit from Shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham as he learned about the support available to cancer patients during illness and remission, writes Tom Dyson.

The MP had a tour of the centre on Friday, and had the chance to talk to patients, staff and volunteers while being told of the various services available.

The Wellbeing Centre, which has been going for 16 years, lies in the grounds of Trafford Hospital and is run by Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust which works in partnership with Macmillan Cancer Support and blueSCI, a third sector organisation, to give support to people diagnosed with cancer.

Mr Burnham, who was later joined by Stretford and Urmston MP Kate Green, said the centre was ‘groundbreaking’ in its approach to providing ‘whole person’ care.

He said: “The support provided at the centre makes a huge difference to people’s lives and helps people to cope when they are faced with cancer.

“This support can make all the difference between someone coping and someone not coping. It’s clear to see that these places give you your life back.”

Pauline West, centre manager, said: “When someone is diagnosed with a life-limiting illness, it is vital they receive the emotional and psychological support to help them through what can be a very distressing time.”

Glynnis Morris, care coordinator at the centre, explains that having a homely environment makes all the difference: “When people come to our centre, sometimes they are confused or feel isolated. Our aim is to make them feel confident and get some control back.

“Many patients don’t like the ‘hospital’ environment so we look to make this place bright and homely. There isn’t even any medical equipment on view.”

Some of the many services available include relaxation, counselling and yoga.