Supporting people through a team approach

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A new aftercare model supporting head and neck cancer patients

by The MARS Team, Royal Surrey County Hospital, Guildford

The Macmillan Aftercare Rehabilitation Service (MARS) team provides a one-stop patient-centred specialist service at locations close to patient homes, helping head and neck cancer (HNC) patients obtain optimal functioning post-treatment, within the limits of their disease and circumstances. Comprising dietitians, a speech and language therapist, nutrition nurses and a care support worker, MARS takes a proactive, integrated rehabilitation approach to facilitate smooth patient transfer from acute to community setting, promoting patient self-care and management of his or her condition within a supportive, local environment.

Judges' comments

"This work is an example of excellent multi-stakeholder collaboration – simply phenomenal. This is a stunning service that crosses boundaries and has so many tangible benefits. The programme is sustainable and gives support to a group of patients who really need it, as can be seen by the number of people the team have helped in a year."

Highly commended

Paediatric radiotherapy - small team making big changes

by St James Institute of Oncology

Over the past four years the team has restructured its methods of treatment preparation to help reduce the number of younger patients needing a general anaesthetic for treatment. This has been achieved through role play (offering the patient a chance to be a radiographer), creating a working model LINAC for patients to play with and by introducing new technology, such as iPads, as distraction methods. The team has secured funding to create a dedicated teenage and young adults’ waiting area within the radiotherapy department.

Judges' comments

"This programme has had such a huge impact for families in reducing the number of under fives needing to have a general anaesthetic. The team has so much enthusiasm and persuaded a department to do something outside of its usual remit. This really tugged at the heartstrings of the judges."


Breaking down barriers - team working across unscheduled care for patients

by Velindre Cancer Centre and Aneurin Bevan University Health Board

Velindre Cancer Centre (VCC) works on a hub and spoke model, with centralised expertise at VCC and delivery of care in local health boards, eg clinics. The team was worried by patients’ experiences of variable care and the lack of robust and timely links between the cancer centre, the seven local hospitals and community sectors. The three elements of the model are: a daily multidisciplinary ‘hub’ of cancer expertise at VCC; independent AOS nursing teams and active engagement and education of a wide range of health professionals in local hospitals.

Judges' comments

"This work does indeed break down boundaries. We loved the way the two organisations united – a display of genuine teamwork. They took a blueprint and implemented it well."

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