AN innovative new wig service for male and female patients who suffer hair loss while undergoing chemo and radiotherapy treatment was officially launched at Milton Keynes Hospital today.
MP Iain Stewart was on hand to declare the service - the first in the region and only the second of its kind in the country - open.
Run in partnership with hairdressing salon, Christos Hair Salon in Newport Pagnell, the scheme will see patients who have suffered chemotherapy or radiotherapy induced hair loss given a prescription for a wig that they can take to the salon.
Christos has specially trained and certified wig fitting and scalp care specialists who can provide patients with information and expert advice.
Patients book an appointment at the salon in the normal way and the specialists can advise them on their scalp care, help them choose a new wig and, when the wig arrives – normally within 24 hours of ordering – have a fitting where the wig can be styled and cut exactly to the patient’s requirements.
Head of Cancer Services at Milton Keynes Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Jane Naish, said: “We know hair loss really, really matters to our patients – both male and female.
“It is an aspect of cancer treatment they most dread, often over and above their actual treatment and surgery. This new service is another development of the excellent, holistic cancer service that we can provide at Milton Keynes Hospital.
“Our approach treats the whole person – medically, physically and emotionally – so we can get them back to their old selves as soon as possible.”
Joan Tiernan, from Christos, said: “We are delighted to be partnering Milton Keynes Hospital and we believe jointly we can support all Milton Keynes cancer patients with not only a fantastic wig fitting service, but all the onward going hair and scalp knowledge that will see each patient through their cancer treatment journey.
“We also know from feedback from our existing clients that having this done as part of a normal salon experience is extremely beneficial to the person’s self-esteem and confidence.”
Mr Stewart said: “This is an excellent new service offering from our hospital.
“It demonstrates that the dedicated nurses and other medical professionals are sensitive to the needs of patients. The wig service will play a huge role in building the confidence of cancer patients during what will be an extremely difficult period.
“I am delighted that the hospital goes to such lengths for local people with cancer.”