Lithys 2018: Breast Cancer Care - Social Support Champion

Lithys 2018: Breast Cancer Care - Social Support Champion

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Company: Breast Cancer Care

Company background: We want every person affected by breast cancer to get the best treatment, information and support.

What we do

We combine the personal experiences of people affected by breast cancer with clinical expertise, using this in a unique way to:

  • provide information on living with and beyond breast cancer
  • offer emotional and practical support through our services and Helpline
  • bring people affected by breast cancer together through our services and Forum 
  • campaign for improvement in standards of support and care
  • promote the importance of early detection.

How we work

We focus our work on the unique experience of each individual affected by breast cancer. We involve people with breast cancer in all that we do. We use our understanding of the emotional and practical issues facing people affected by breast cancer alongside our clinical expertise.


Contact: Anna Brown

Title: Digital Community Officer

Related URLs: 

Lithy category: Social Support Champion

1. What were your organization’s social customer service initiatives in 2017-2018?


  • To connect more people to expert information and support on a reducing budget
  • To increase ways our clinical experts can be contacted and engaged with
  • To extend the reach of the organisation thereby lessening individual isolation
  • To ensure that our users continue to be at the centre of every


2. What was the most important customer issue you were looking to solve via your digital technology (e.g. community and/or social media management platform)?

Our users are at the centre of everything we do and every decision we make but connecting more people to expert information and peer support on a reducing budget is an increasing challenge and unlike the business world when we’re unable to manage this challenge it has a direct impact on our users emotional being.


People have the option to contact our nurses via email or calling our free helpline, and now thanks to technology they can also contact them via our ‘Ask Our Nurses’ area of the forum. This gives them direct access to our clinical experts through the community forum, they can ask questions at a time that suits them and receive information they know they can trust.

‘Ask Our Nurses’ also widens the support network for the rest of the online community. Not only does the person asking Our Nurses receive the answer to their question, but everyone who reads the question also finds a trusted clinical answer too, and the fantastic SEO impact of community means this impact is felt way beyond our community, enabling anyone looking for help online to find trusted clinical answers.


While the role of our expert clinical nurses is important to our community, we cannot emphasis the value of peer support to our users. Being able to connect with others who truly understand the difficult journey they are on, any time of day or night 24/7 is invaluable. This support is often by way of practical or emotional support, but sometimes our users struggle to find the words they need, or simply don’t feel there are words to express their feelings. Its here that one of our simplest changes to the community has had a great impact. Re-purposing kudos to hugs our users are now able to show their emotional support for each other in a way they previously could not. In the last year alone over 100k hugs where given across our community.

The very popular ‘monthly chemo’ threads are another great example of how community users are supporting each other daily through their journey, our January thread saw 2,281 replies with over 800 hugs shared, these threads are where the family of community truly comes together.


3. Please share customer satisfaction metrics, both qualitative and quantitative, as well as agent and response time metrics (e.g. CSAT, decreased customer complaints, call deflections, agent SLA, manual processes eliminated)

In the year to date our community has received 2.6 million visits, that’s 2.6 million times visitors were able to gain the support of their peers and our nurses, this impact could never be matched by our direct 1:1 service’s.


Other key stats in the year to end July 2018 there were:

  • 2,693,440 visits
  • >40% of all contact to our clinical experts came from the Forum
  • 1 million posts
  • 16,231 discussion topics
  • 109,298 hugs given
  • 9,249 new registrations (total to date 106,716)
  • 142,502 member entrances
  • More than 80% of all visitors came from mobile or tablet

But don’t take our word for it, here’s what our users say…

  “These forums are fantastically supportive. We are all at different ages & stages of life with different family makeup’s, but are here for each other.” - Jude1962

“I had a few counselling sessions and although I felt it helped I'm not sure that any more would. I'm actually finding this site much more helpful and informative” - Bubbler

 “Thanks so very much for such a lovely reply. I’m very happy I found this site, it was the Macmillan nurse who gave me your info & said your "good" people.” - Rictina