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NEW Prehabilitation for Cancer Patients service launches across Torbay.

January 11, 2024

A new Prehabilitation for Cancer Patients service has gone live from 1st March 2023 across Torbay and South Devon. This new pilot service sets out to initially support 3 groups of patients but with a view to expand this to other cancer types...

The pilot will include the following specialities:

• Lung patients who are commencing chemotherapy & radical radiotherapy

• Prostate patients on hormone therapy preparing for radiotherapy

• All Head & Neck patients that meet certain criteria.

You can find out more about this service and how to get in touch by visiting the link to the Torbay Hospital website here: Prehabilitation for Cancer - Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust

But what is Prehabilitation and why is it so important ?

Prehabilitation (or prehab) can be thought of as preparing patients as best as possible for the radical treatment involved in treating their cancer and the impact that this has on themselves and their families. The aim of prehab is to improve the outcome and effectiveness of cancer treatment by optimising health using the right services and signposting patients to the right support and advice. It is a holistic approach to improving the overall wellbeing of patients before they start treatment and involves a focus on getting active, nutritional support and other key areas to improve health and wellbeing. This in turn improves how patients respond to treatment and saves the NHS money and resources by appropriately directing patients through their treatment pathway and beyond.

The fitter you go in the fitter you come out !

The aim of prehab is to reach patients as early as possible in their treatment pathway. To optimise the window of opportunity and to improve health before radial cancer treatment starts. It is important to get things started as soon as possible and to make the most of this time before starting treatment. In the future this could be part of a prescription that comes with the decision around cancer treatment. There is now lots of good evidence to support the value of prehab and the importance of patients engaging seriously with this advice and taking steps to modify their lifestyle.

How will patients access this new service in Torbay

At diagnosis patients will be picked up and referred onto the pre-hab team who will screen the individual needs of the patients and prepare a care plan to support their prehabilitation. They will be signposted to the right interventions and support and then their progress monitored and evaluated as they progress through they cancer pathway.  

How can the MySunrise platform compliment a prehabilitation service ?

One of the challenges for Cancer Centres in delivering prehab services, which can be quite resource heavy, is the variability and reliability of this service. Some prehab services have lost funding or found it difficult with workforce challenges to reliably deliver these services to cancer patients. This can create inequalities between areas as services and resources vary.

There is a clear need for prehab:

• Evidence shows it improves outcomes and encourages self management

• It saves NHS resources.

• There is value for all cancer patients and to get started as early as possible…

Accessing the service involves :

• A referral pathway at local Cancer Centres.

• Assessment and creation of a care plan.

• Recommended personalised intervention and monitoring and evaluation.

Delivering results

• The success of prehab services may depend on the resources available.

• And the reliability and variability of the service in local areas.

MySunrise can help to support a prehab service by providing locally curated evidence based resources for each cancer specific pathway. These resources can be designed around patients and enable them to get started with their prehab as soon as possible. Therefore speeding up the benefits of prehab and reducing strain on local services and inequality.

To help support these challenges the MySunrise treatment pathway has a built in prehabilitation section which allows patients to identify resources and information about prehab that are specific to their cancer type and available in their local area. it also points patients to the prehab team helping them to get in touch and to get the best out of their treatment.

As part of the new prehab service at Torbay we are thrilled to be able to include some resources supporting this service. Please do get in touch at

You can find out more about prehabiliation via our video here.