A Trust service for patients with a gynaecological cancer has been shortlisted for three national awards.
The nurse-led team, set up in November 2013, has been nominated for:
- A Patient Safety Award in the cancer category
- A Value in Healthcare Award in the Value and Improvement in Specialist Services category
- A Nursing Times Award in the cancer nursing category.
Keely Clawson, Gynaecology Oncology Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) explained how the service has developed and how it is helping support patients after their treatment has been completed.
She said: “This is a service that is driven by patient need and enables us to focus on individuals to help them to be able to self-manage their condition once treatment is complete.
“Every patient is offered a consultation with a nurse specialist at the end of their treatment during which we carry out a detailed assessment focused on their individual worries. We can then offer advice and information tailored to that individual or we refer the patient to any specialist services they may need.”
Each patient also receives a pack of information on diet and exercise and tips on dealing with life following cancer treatment as well as details of support groups and services available in their local area.
As part of this work, the team has been able to identify patients with low risk endometrial cancers and provide them with an alternative to the usual annual check-ups. Patients are given detailed information of signs and symptoms they need to look out for. If they have any concerns, they can call the team and get direct access to a Consultant Gynaecologist clinic.
Keely said: “We have been able to audit this aspect of the service and the results have been very positive with 95 per cent of patients saying they were aware of the signs and symptoms of recurrence and 100 per cent saying they know who to contact if they had any concerns.
“In addition, 95 per cent felt their expectations were met by attending the clinic and 71 per cent saying, as result of the clinic, they had made lifestyle changes.”
The team will continue to audit this group of patients for a total of five years, which would cover the period of time in which they would have had a traditional follow up path.
Keely added: “This service has allowed patients time and space to be able to voice their anxieties and worries about their future and allowed us to give them support and guidance. We also work in partnership with community groups, Age UK and Macmillan Cancer Support to ensure patients can access a wider range of support services.
“The service has enabled timely referrals to specialist services and prevented patients reaching crisis situations and we have been able to support patients and their families with their survivorship issues and, sadly, in some cases, their inevitable palliative care issues.”
Sally Napper, the Trust’s Chief Nurse, congratulated the team on their nominations. She said: “I am so pleased that this innovative team is being recognised for the hard work they do to help deliver a quality, supportive service for their patients.
“Helping patients come to terms with the life-changing effects of diagnosis and treatment for cancer is really important and this team is providing great support to women across the area.”
The team will find out if they have been successful in the Patient Safety Awards at a ceremony in Birmingham in July. The winners of the Value in Healthcare Awards will be announced in September at an event in London with the results of the Nursing Times Awards due in November.