Coal Face Caring

Welcome to As the name suggests, the aim of this website is to provide a resource and an additional means of support and encouragement for those who are currently experiencing health-related concerns, whether in themselves or in others. It may be that such concerns are family- or friend-orientated. Then again, your interest in such a site as this may be motivated, at least in part, by the nature of your occupation /vocation in healthcare; or as a personal carer. What is on offer here is by no means “rocket science” (although it is rooted and grounded, wherever possible, in sound scientific research and practice). In its way therefore, it is at least as valuable and, at this precise moment in time may be, much more relevant and meaningful to your day-by-day life and functioning.

Many, if not most of us, well know that the skilfully directed, kindly and attentive listening ’ear’ affording opportunity to gently and non-threateningly ease such concerns into the light of day, can, of itself, work wonders. Even little more than an appropriate and sensitively delivered comment – judiciously offered – has been known to afford release and comfort. Thus, hopefully, you are beginning to perceive from the outset, something of the vision that CFC and its Associates possess for the future of this site. We believe that there is good reason to look forward to an interesting, meaningful and profitable (purely in the supportive sense) contact and, where appropriate, interaction. Once again, “Welcome”. We look forward to the pleasure of your company on many future visits to this site.

Sidney Bindemann
Dr Sidney Bindemann BScEcon, MSc, CSci, PhD, CPsychol, AFBPsS is a retired
clinical psychologist and United Reformed Church (URC) minister, who may rightly be regarded as a founding figure within the modern discipline of psycho-oncology. His appointment as Principal Clinical Psychologist in the ’70s’ to the Department of Clinical Oncology, University of Glasgow, was the first full-time appointment of its kind to be made anywhere in the UK. Cancer Research UK (then CRC) described his research activities of those days as “innovative and pioneering”.

Dr Bindemann was a founding (and the first) UK member of the EORTC Quality of Life
Study Group, as well as of the European Society of Psychosocial Oncology (ESPO; later to become the European Federation EFPOS). He was similarly a founding member of the British Psycho-oncology Society (BPOS) and was elected to “life” membership in 1999 in recognition of his services to the Society in particular and psycho-oncology in general. He  also held the office of hon. senior lecturer of a number of years in the University of Glasgow’s Oncology Department, Faculty of Medicine.

For many years before retirement, he served as consultant clinical psychologist at the Beatson Oncology Centre (BOC), Glasgow and Director of the Phoenix Cancer Foundation (a Scottish Cancer Charity at that time). Although now in his “eighties” and well retired, Dr Bindemann retains a current and lively interest in all matters concerning both valid assessment and active proliferation of QL,especially in patients suffering from serious and life-threatening illnesses.

Of much of that period SB recalls, “Over a time span of several years, some 300 new cancer patients (in addition to those already in attendance) were being referred to my clinics year-on-year, by GPs, hospital and hospice doctors. They hailed from widely differing social, economic, academic and cultural backgrounds, young and not so young, each possessing his/her unique temperament, personality and personal life story. Thus there accrued in the conventional way, e.g. via clinic notes etc., an abundance of relevant and rich experience of and encounter with patients in need. Add to this my own tendency (with the present task of writing to you very much in mind) to painstakingly collate and annotate such first hand experience of patients; and the basis for and rationale of a volume of this kind becomes readily apparent.

References to conversations with specific patients are authentic and genuine in their entirety. However, names (as well as other identifying characteristics/features) have been changed throughout to preserve confidentiality and anonymity. Quote marks are employed in the conventional way, i.e. in order to indicate actual verbal response/reaction. Although I am unable to claim absolute literal accuracy to the precise word and letter in every instance, ready access to patients’ records, together with personal notes gathered and a good memory, have combined to ensure integrity in sense and meaning of every such reference.” All entries to this website are subject to and consistent with UK Copyright law. (C)SB

Dedication” and all the contents of this website are dedicated to Christine Miriam (Chris); late wife of Rev.d Dr Sidney Bindemann; Chris was diagnosed as suffering from Acute myeloid leukaemia in September 2005 and passed from this life on November 7th 2006. Loved for ever; a constant inspiration and remembered always. SB.

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