Patient Experience

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Delivering Systemic Anti-Cancer Therapies closer to home to improve patient experience

By The Christie NHS Foundation Trust

In 2012 the clinical and service team developed a three-year chemotherapy strategy with a vision to develop a safe and effective service, delivering treatment closer to the patients’ homes under a single governance arrangement. The goal was to improve patients’ experience and waiting times by developing improved patient pathways. The strategy aimed to deliver 80% of agreed clinically appropriate systemic anti-cancer therapies closer to patients’ homes by 2014, which required a significant expansion of appropriate facilities across a considerable geographic area.

Judges’ comments

“This initiative has challenged a traditional way of working and made it work, clearly putting the patient at the centre of the changes, to improve the patient experience while going through chemotherapy. Cancer services across the country should be following, and learning from, this kind of programme.”


Highly Commended

Eye Club: A patient-led teaching intervention

By Barts Health NHS Trust

Eye Club is a patient-led teaching group supporting paediatric oncology patients who have had one or two eyes removed due to advanced retinoblastoma. The basis of the group is a fun, non-threatening environment with the aim of bringing children and families who have been through a similar experience together. The group is made up of ‘teachers’ and ‘learners’: teachers are children who are confident in removing and inserting their artificial eye, and learners are those who have little to no confidence in any eye-related care. While the children are with the clinical team learning eye care, parents and siblings are treated to tea and coffee with a support worker.

Judges’ comments

“This entry was a pleasure to read. The judges liked that the Eye Club has reached out across the UK in such a small area of care and also how they have illustrated the patient experience between family and user. Such a simple idea, using patients as trainers. This is right at the heart of the patient experience and must have a profound effect on children with retinoblastoma.”



Macmillan therapy team - providing rehabilitation for those living with and beyond cancer

By North Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Trust

Rehabilitation is vitally important for patients living with and beyond cancer to enhance their quality of life and help them gain control and focus on areas of importance within their life. A two-year project by the Macmillan therapy team provides education for the local workforce in the delivery of rehabilitation across the patient pathway from diagnosis through to end of life care. It has enabled a specialist occupational therapist and physiotherapist to integrate within the specialist palliative care multidisciplinary team, in order to improve continuity of patient care, build strong links and adopt a holistic approach for patients within this specialist area.

Judges’ comments

“This is a solid example of good practice with measurable outcomes and a clear impact on quality of life. The hand-written letter from the patient did indeed capture the essence of the project focus.”



National thyroid cancer nurse specialists: A solution to postcode healthcare?

By Velindre Cancer Centre, Cardiff and Macmillan Cancer Support

The project aims to address and eliminate inequality in access to thyroid cancer information and thyroid cancer-specific CNS support, regardless of postcode. It provides access to accurate, up to date information as well as support from the time of diagnosis and throughout a patient’s cancer journey. Funding from Macmillan Cancer Support has allowed the creation of two innovative specialist thyroid cancer nurse positions: a clinical nurse specialist and a thyroid cancer information nurse specialist based on the Macmillan Support Line. The two roles work collaboratively to develop services and resources for professionals, patients and carers across the UK.

Judges’ comments

“This is a very innovative approach to the provision of CNS support to rarer cancer groups, trying to establish equity across the country. There must have been a lot of collaborative working to get this initiative off the ground. It ensures that the generic skills of a nurse are valued, rather than disease specific ones.”

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