A NEW hospital passport, developed by local charity, Middlesbrough and Stockton Mind, is being rolled out to adults and older people diagnosed with cancer who are accessing mental health services from Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust (TEWV) in Teesside.

The document, called “Passport to my Health and Well-being”, will make it easier for individuals to share information about their mental health with those involved in their care and includes information on their condition, medication and preferences. The passport also includes a list of national help lines and has space to record information about local support services and hospital appointments.

Eve Newbury, assistant locality manager at TEWV, said: “Sharing information about your mental health can be difficult and can cause people a great deal of anxiety or stress. It can be hard to know who information needs to be shared with, when and what people need to know or may find helpful.

“Having to repeat this to multiple different staff can be draining and in some cases can make attending appointments a traumatic experience.

“Having a passport detailing important information about the person, can make it easier for people to make their health needs known without having to worry about how and when to disclose this.

“It also means that clinicians looking after those with cancer have a better understanding of the overall health and wellbeing of the person they are caring for and can offer additional help to support them through their treatment.

“We are pleased to be working with Mind to ensure this fantastic initiative is available for our patients and hope to see this offering extended in other areas of the trust.”

Sarah Jane Ashcroft, Macmillan mental health cancer care project lead at Middlesbrough and Stockton Mind, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with TEWV to make sure people in the local area who have a cancer diagnosis and are receiving mental health services have access to this resource.

“The passports are a key tool in helping to address health inequalities people may face when accessing treatment and help to make sure they get the right support to help them through what is a challenging experience.

“Training sessions are being held with TEWV staff over the coming weeks to raise awareness of the passport and how they can support service users to make best use of these.”