Publish date: 2 December 2021

Tameside and Glossop IC FT is delighted to announce that the coveted Macmillan Cancer Support Innovation Excellence Award for 2021 has been given to one of our team! Huge congratulations to David Banks, Cancer Information and Support Service Manager, who was voted winner for introducing a new approach to delivering a valuable service to cancer patients.

As David so rightly identified, many people with cancer struggle with depression and have unmet psychological and emotional needs – and these are often exacerbated in lower-income households where people have no clear access to mental health. David decided to set about developing a new pathway, and an innovative approach of working in partnership with Healthy Minds, a local organisation, to develop a psychological support and talking therapy service. 

David finds it really rewarding to see the difference these interventions make. He explains: “When they first arrive people are often very anxious, and feelings of hopelessness and desperation are common. Once they’ve received the help they need, people leave feeling more positive and more in control of their lives, knowing where to come if they need help in the future. Holistic support is really important. There’s no point in simply focussing on mental health if that person is in financial distress, unable to afford food or heating, or fearing the post or a knock at the door. From the first appointment, we offer support with benefits, debts, housing and employment. Then patients go on to see Healthy Minds for a mental health assessment or treatment, followed by complementary therapy. Finally, we offer a session with a member of the Macmillan information and support team.”

Karen James OBE, Trust Chief Executive said, “David is right when he says that what has been achieved so far is great, but we’re always looking at improving and expanding. This is especially important now, because we’re going to be seeing the impact of the pandemic on mental health for many years to come. With his innovative approach and good common sense it’s easy to see why the panel of distinguished judges voted him winner of this prestigious award.

“On behalf of all of us at the Trust, I would like to offer my sincere congratulations and grateful thanks for all he and his wonderful team do to support cancer patients in the borough."