The experience reported by cancer patients is an outcome in itself and it is important that services do everything they can to ensure patients have a positive experience of their treatment and care within the NHS. Finalists demonstrated an ability to improve the experience that patients report of their treatment and care.
Efficiency of Emergency Assessment Bay model for Onco-Haematological related emergencies
University Hospital of North Staffordshire Cancer Centre
The Emergency Assessment Bay model has now been operational for almost three years and is one of a kind as a facility to accommodate emergency care and treatment for haemato-oncological patients within an Acute Trust.
Prior to the facility opening there was uncertainty about how the models of care and patient pathways would work and how the service would be received both by patients and the wider healthcare economy.
The model has exceeded all expectations with positive feedback from patients, carers and healthcare professionals accessing the facility. The Directorate is committed to constantly reviewing systems, processes and revising, where required, staffing models and resource requirements.
The use of the 24-hour Telephone Assessment Tool has enabled appropriate triaging of patients to ensure that safe, effective and appropriate clinical care and/or advice is given and defined clinical pathways ensure ongoing relevance to patient management.
The sustainability of the service is demonstrated through ongoing auditing, as seen in the Directorate’s End of Year report. Data supports the use of the Emergency Assessment Bay with a continued increase in the activity since the facility opened.
Shout Out! Magazine for 7-13 year olds living with cancer
Shout Out! is a magazine for 7–13 year olds with cancer, designed and written with extensive input from them. It features information about living with cancer; articles and activities to help children with cancer have fun and take their minds off treatment, and content from its readers. Children spend months or even years away from home and school, friends and family; and missing out on education often leaves them feeling isolated.
Shout Out! is designed to make them feel less alone, help them cope with the impact of cancer and offer peer support, as well as providing vital patient information for both children in hospital and at home. The magazine was created by children, from concept to publication.
Children supported by the charity said a magazine was the best way to reach this age group. They advised on all aspects of the magazine from the name to the look and feel, and contribute much of the content.
Feedback from pilot issues has been positive. Respondents surveyed ‘really enjoyed’ or ‘quite enjoyed’ it, with half reporting feeling happier or more positive after reading it. Nearly all think there is enough relevant information about cancer and 96 per cent think a magazine is the best way to provide information and share thoughts. One said: “I think it’s brilliant and will help many kids ... also it looks amazing!” Issue 1 of the magazine was distributed to children at home and in hospitals this summer.
Developing and implementing a community-based prostate health clinic in Newham for hard to reach men
North East London Cancer Network
The Newham community-based prostate clinic is an innovative model aimed at supporting the healthcare needs of men from hard-to-reach groups who often feel excluded from accessing healthcare support.
Based in an African and Caribbean Community Centre, the clinic attempted to map itself onto the needs of the service user rather than the other way round. Men could self-refer and did not need an appointment to attend; opening hours were flexible and specialist nurses and doctors operated a one-to-one service offering information and support about all aspects of prostate health. Following on from a consultation, service users could access diagnostic investigations on site with a follow-up in Secondary Care if necessary. Blood could be taken for PSA testing in clinic and the test carried out in the Acute Trust.
Men scored the clinic very highly in terms of access and convenience. They talked about the bespoke clinic with friends, with 25 per cent of men who visited the clinic doing so because of word-of-mouth referrals. This approach complimented the advertising campaign which promoted the clinic among a hard-to-reach group.
The pilot clinic provided a safe environment for these men to express fears or concerns that were not being addressed elsewhere: many symptomatic men who visited the clinic said that they would not have visited a GP citing a number of reasons, including fear, embarrassment, or simply not thinking their worries were warranted.
The learnings from the pilot will be shared with other stakeholders both within London and across England. It is hoped that this clinic will be the first of many.