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Head and Neck Cancer

Head and Neck Cancer

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Bradford and Airedale Head and Neck Cancer Team are committed to ensuring we provide a caring and compassionate service that is of high quality to patients with Head and Neck cancer. The team covers both Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Airedale NHS Foundation Trust.

Patient and consultant looking at diagram of a neck

Our team includes

  • Three Macmillan Head and Neck cancer nurse specialists (Bradford)
  • A Macmillan Cancer Care Coordinator (Bradford)
  • Head and Neck secretary (Bradford)
  • Four Macmillan highly specialist speech and language therapists (SaLT’s)

Two based in Bradford and two in Airedale

  • Two Macmillan dietitians (Bradford)

We provide information and support to patients from the point of diagnosis (including work up to diagnosis), care through treatment, rehabilitation and supported self-management, as well as palliation. Surgery may be done in Bradford/ Airedale whilst Chemotherapy/Radiotherapy is delivered in Leeds.  We work closely with our colleagues in ENT and Maxillo Facial and Restorative Dentistry.

Note: Airedale patients may attend appointments at Bradford Royal Infirmary, St Luke’s Hospital, St James’s University Hospital Leeds and Airedale Hospital as appropriate.

At Airedale we offer

  • A weekly multidisiplinary outpatient clinic with a Macmillan Head and Neck Clinical Nurse Specialist (Bradford), Macmillan Speciialist Dietitian (Bradford) and a Macmillan Specialist Speech and Language Therapist (Airedale).

Patients are seen at the point of diagnosis and after treatment completes.

  • Appointments are tailored to the individual needs of the patient. There is no time limit on the amount of appointments each person is offered, it is based on need. The team will provide support as and when it is needed.
  • Points of discussion might include: pain, mouth care, eating and drinking, nutrition and weight, speech/voice/ communication, fatigue, medications, concerns/worries/questions about treatment and the emotional impact of treatment, fear of recurrence and signposting to other support services.
  • A Specialist inpatient and community Speech and Language Therapy service to support Head and Neck cancer patients. This includes: outpatient clinics, telephone follow up , virtual appointments and home visits where appropriate. We are also planning to offer a support group to patients who have completed treatment.

Contact details

Contact details:

Relatives and patients can contact the cancer nurse specialist team for advice, support or information.

Head & Neck Cancer Services

Extension Block , St Lukes’ Hospital , Bradford.
T: 01274 365848 Monday to Friday

  • Michelle Law, Lead Head and Neck Cancer CNS : 01274 365848
  • Elaine Sergeant, CNS : 01274 365848
  • Kasie Thorpe, CNS: 01274 365848
  • Lucy Taylor, Dietitian: 01274 365848

For Airedale SLT

Tel: 01535 295085

  • Claire Fernyhough, Speech and Language Therapist
  • Jess Wakeling, Speech and Language Therapist

The Head and Neck Cancer MDT clinic is located in Clinic 10, Outpatients department, Airedale General Hospital.

Facilities and clinical staff roles

Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS)

All the members of the head and neck nurse specialist team have expertise and experience in assisting with patients and carers concerns including:

  • information about the disease illness, investigations, treatments and follow up
  • advice about any symptoms arising as a result of the cancer treatment
  • support for patients, relatives and carers
  • referral to the community nursing teams, such as the District Nurses
  • referral to other professionals who can offer specialist advice such as benefits, social services or complimentary therapies. e.g. Cancer Support Yorkshire
  • Your CNS is likely to be your main contact at the hospital.


Good nutrition is essential from the outset to aid recovery following all types of head and neck cancer treatment. Our team provides assistance and advice concerning eating and drinking, recommending prescribed supplements and tube feeding.

Having treatment for head and neck cancer is very likely to impact upon your ability to eat and drink. This can lead to impaired wound healing, increased length of hospital stay, poor quality of life and can also result in interruptions to treatment

The Head and Neck Dietitians are here to:

  • Make an assessment of your individual nutritional needs
  • Advise on how your planned treatment may affect your ability to eat and drink
  • Discuss nutritional goals and agree on a suitable plan with you to help you meet them
  • Provide practical dietary advice and written information to help you to implement changes at home

Speech and Language Therapist  (often referred to as the SaLT) will provide expert assessment, advice, information and support to patients who have speech, voice and swallowing problems both prior to and following treatment. Out therpaists liaise closely with SaLT teams in Bardford and Leeds to ensure optimum patient care is delivered.

Information is provided on/discussion may involve:

  • Answers to questions which are specific to an individual`s treatment
  • Swallowing, how it normally works and how it can be affected by surgery and/or radiotherapy
  • Providing exercises which can help maintain and improve long-term swallowing and /or speech
  • We can also offer instrumental assessment of swallowing  where indicated e.g. Videofluoroscopy at Airedale Hospital.

Note: All Laryngectomy patients who have speaking valves fitted will have valve changes/stoma care provided in Bradford with the SaLT team.