There are an increasing number of people living with and after cancer in the UK and patients may be living with moderate to severe side effects after they finish their cancer treatment. A new survivorship prostate cancer pathway has been designed and implemented to incorporate the ‘Recovery Package’ at Guys and St Thomas’ (GSTT). The pathway aims to improve patient experience and quality of care, and to ensure patients live a healthier and active life after treatment. The new pathway has been devised with patients, by collecting data from focus groups, patient experience questionnaires and Holistic Needs Assessments (HNAs), which are patient tools to highlight concerns and anxieties.
The National Cancer Survivorship Initiative (NCSI) acknowledged patients are living with multiple different concerns and issues during and after their treatment which are affecting their quality of life (NCSI, 2010). To address these issues the UK is implementing ‘The Recovery Package’ to help attend to these unmet needs and support patients. The urology department at GSTT is one of the busiest in the country, treating 1,500 new prostate cancer patients in 2014/2015. The NHS is facing increasing financial pressure and scrutiny so implementing new national cancer survivorship initiatives within existing resources poses considerable challenges. Patients were seen after their treatment by their urologist or oncologist initially, and then followed up by one of the clinical nurse specialist team, with provision to refer to other healthcare professionals if necessary. There were long waits of up to 9 months for some services such as andrology or continence mainly due to the increasing number of patients requiring assessment and treatment.
To provide prostate cancer patients with a survivorship pathway that gives them the skills and confidence to cope with treatment-related side effects, improves patient experience, improves quality of care and facilitates confidence in the discharge process. To incorporate the ‘recovery package’, which needs to be embedded into current practice to ensure GSTT is compliant with NCSI and London Cancer Alliance (LCA) initiatives. To support prostate cancer survivors to live with and beyond cancer in an effective and cost-effective way.
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