Cancer information: some basic things to know

While you are receiving treatment at the Royal Free London, you should have a named contact or specialist cancer nurse (CNS). If you don’t know who they are please ask your clinical team who will explain your cancer and its treatment plan to you. You can contact any of our Macmillan cancer information and support centres for further information or visit the following websites:

As part of your personalised cancer care, you will be offered a holistic needs assessment (HNA) with a member of your clinical team. An HNA is a discussion about any concerns that you may have and allows you to highlight what matters to you. You will also create your personalised plan of care during this time. Please speak to your nurse or Macmillan support worker if you have any concerns about this.

Most cancer types have an associated patient support organisation or charity. To find out more about these, ask your Macmillan cancer information and support centre for more information about applying.

Once you have received a cancer diagnosis you can get free prescriptions. Ask your GP, clinical team or Macmillan information centre about applying.

If you have already received or are undergoing tests to confirm a cancer diagnosis, you may be eligible for concessionary parking at our hospitals.  


During and after your hospital stay  - Support for cancer patients whilst on a ward.   


In patient stay 

Being a cancer patient on a ward can often feel lonely and isolating.  Some services below are available to you as an in patient at our Trust. 

The Chaplaincy-Spiritual Care team is available for everyone of any faith, belief, or philosophy of life.  They can be contacted to visit the patients on the ward or they have weekly services. 

Complementary massage All patients, with any medical condition, can be referred for treatment by a member of their multi-disciplinary team ( Hampstead site only).   

Volunteers who are associated with the Royal Free Charity are on the wards during daytime hours and may help with small tasks. They are also good listeners if you’re feeling alone and need someone to talk to.  

More information about staying in our hospitals can be found here


Upon discharge  

There are voluntary organisations that offer support at home and other services once you have been discharged from hospital.   


Home support 

The following organisations offer support at home to compliment any discharge packages in place. 

The Red Cross can provide a support at home service.  Call 0808 196 3651 to find out what is available in your area. 

Age UK offer many services including home help services and other information and advice.  Call the Advice line on 0800 678 1602 8am - 7pm every day of the year to find out what’s available in your area.  


Befriending support   

After you leave you hospital you may feel lonely and isolated.  The following organisations offer befriending services. 

The Royal Free Charity’s Support Hub offers a telephone check in and chat service.

Macmillan Cancer Support also offers a Buddies scheme for patients with cancer which can be telephone-based, or sometimes in-person.

The Silver Line Helpline 0800 4 70 80 90  is a free, 24-hour telephone service for older people.  They offer friendship, support, and a listening ear. 

Age UK offer many services for anyone over 55 including befriending, call the Advice line on 0800 678 1602 8am - 7pm every day of the year to ask about what’s available in your area.  

The Red Cross support line is staffed by experienced Red Cross volunteers who can provide emotional support in more than 200 languages. 
The support line is free and confidential, and is available 10am-6pm daily. Call 0808 196 3651 to speak to a friendly Red Cross support line volunteer.