Breaking down barriers - team working across unscheduled care for patients


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.


In South East Wales cancer patients benefit from the expertise of the Velindre Cancer Centre (VCC), but there is growing recognition that during the course of their cancer journey patients receive care from a wide range of providers.

Although issues could be partly addressed by introducing nurse-led AOS services in hospitals, there was a clear need to develop this further and ensure support for patients both during and outside standard working hours.  The challenge was to maintain robust ‘real time’ links back to the central expertise of the cancer centre and re- engage with  professionals outside the centre. Teams frequently care for cancer patients but may have become deskilled and disengaged due to the close proximity of a cancer centre.


The overall objective was to give cancer patients in South East Wales access to safe, knowledgeable and appropriate care, whichever team or point of care they were admitted to. Specific objectives including establishing timely links from local hospitals to cancer expertise in VCC, re-engaging and providing educational support to local hospitals around acute cancer issues, and streamlining patient pathways across sectors.

The team also aimed to simplify and standardise acute oncology protocols and ensure accessible access, 24/7 to all acute teams, improve compliance with key outcome measures in Acute Oncology, and establish a sustainable and transferable model of Acute Oncology, with proven benefits to patient safety.

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QiC Oncology Commended 2014
Supporting people through a team approach
Breaking down barriers - team working across unscheduled care for patients
by Velindre Cancer Centre and Aneurin Bevan University Health Board


Hilary Williams

Job title:
Place of work:
Velindre Cancer Centre
02920 615888

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