After successfully bidding for £5,000 charity funding in a ‘Dragon’s Den’ style presentation, two Royal Surrey dietitians are the first in the UK to launch 18 diet and cancer information videos.

Lindsey Allan and Nicola Porter pitched their idea for the series of videos to Royal Surrey Charity as part of our Bid for Better initiative. The videos aim to enhance patient care and experience by answering common dietary questions raised during cancer treatments.

Each video is just two or three minutes long and provides help on questions such as what patients should eat if they’re losing weight during treatment, experiencing diarrhoea/constipation/nausea/taste changes, are struggling to swallow, as well as information on food safety, vitamin and mineral supplements, plus more.

Lindsey, Macmillan Oncology Dietitian and Team Lead, said:

“Our patients often have questions about diet when they’re diagnosed with cancer and they tend to turn to the internet for answers which can give them potentially harmful misinformation. We wanted to provide evidence-based help for those struggling with their diet due to their cancer or treatment. Our referrals have doubled over the last few years, so this series of videos will also be a vital resource for oncology dietitians too. We’re liaising with the British Dietetic Association so we can share them across the profession.”

After being awarded funding for their project, Lindsey and Nicola, with the help of ex Royal Surrey colleague Adele Hug, set up a steering group of patients, clinicians, representatives from Clinical Commissioning Groups and the World Cancer Research Fund to agree the video topics, design and content.

The group found that there were very few video resources available from major UK cancer centres for patients worried about problems with their diet.

Lindsey said: “Videos are an easy way for patients to access clear and simple information about cancer and diet and making this series to tackle important frequently asked questions is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. Finally launching our project is very exciting and I’m super proud of what we’ve achieved.

“We’re extremely grateful to Royal Surrey Charity for giving us the funds to make the videos. We’ve searched for similar information available in video format, and there really is nothing out there like it. Hopefully, this is just the beginning of an ongoing body of work that we can build on.”

Louise Stead, Royal Surrey’s Chief Executive congratulated Lindsey and Nicola on the launch of their video series. She said:

“This is an extremely valuable resource, which will make a big difference to cancer patients, not just at Royal Surrey but nationwide. I’m really impressed by the hard work and consideration that the team have put into creating the videos and the way they have worked collaboratively with both patients and experts in the field to research, test and refine the material. Well done, it’s a fabulous achievement!”

Watch the videos >