Helping people make sense of it all
Last year we shared some research findings, looking into how our services help people. We discovered that when people are given a new diagnosis, or are living with a long-term condition, they wanted to speak to someone who had been through something similar.
The pandemic has meant it’s taken a bit longer to develop the service, but this month we will launch our new Peer Navigator service, directly in response to what people told us they needed.
What people told us
We heard that people found it difficult to access the information they needed, speak to their doctor and relatives, and generally make sense of their situation after a new diagnosis.
In particular people with a new diagnosis or facing serious treatment decisions told us:
- it can be difficult to navigate the health and care system
- information is overwhelmingly medicalised and often leaves out the social, emotional and practical aspects of support
- they would find real value in speaking to someone who had been through a similar situation
It was clear that people not only needed practical support to navigate health services, but also emotional support to understand and adapt to their new situation.
Who is the Peer Navigator service for?
The Peer Navigator service is for anyone who wants the opportunity to speak to someone who has also experienced a life-changing diagnosis, to walk alongside them through part of their journey.
The service is for anyone who:
- has had a recent life-changing or terminal diagnosis
- is living with a long-term condition
- is facing important treatment decisions
How can it help?
The benefits of peer support are well known. Talking to someone who has been through a similar experience can help people to understand their diagnosis, feel more confident and reduce the feelings of isolation and loneliness. This inevitably leads to significant health and wellbeing benefits.
Our Peer Navigator service can help people to:
- come to terms with a new diagnosis and plan next steps
- make decisions about complex treatment options
- speak to their family and friends
- speak to their doctor and ask the right questions
- access local and national services for support
- understand and make sense of their new situation