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Patient Vicky Jones Hutchinson

Lead Cancer Clinician, Sarah Burton, gives an overview on the tremendous amount achieved by the team last year while looking ahead to plans for 2016.

2015 was a busy year for the team; supporting over 10,000 patients referred with suspected cancer and we helped and cared for over 1,700 patients who had been diagnosed with cancer.

The team was shortlisted for two national Patient Safety Awards:

  • Cancer Care Category – for organising our Health and Wellbeing event 2015 for cancer patients and their families living with, and beyond cancer.
  • Quality of Care Award – for providing a chemotherapy service for breast cancer patients closer to their homes.

Since launching the chemotherapy services to breast cancer patients at Ashford Hospital in April 2014, we’ve administered over 3,000 treatments to cancer patients.

The project has received some outstanding feedback from our breast cancer patients.

Prostate Cancer Awareness

This year we plan to expand the chemotherapy service to other types of cancer tumours. To help share and support innovative practice in cancer care, we paired up with St Helen’s and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust in Liverpool as part of a UK-wide NHS initiative to share best practice. The scheme aims to reduce the national variation in cancer patients’ experiences across the UK. This enabled us to gain valuable knowledge from one of the most highly rated hospitals in cancer care. We had the opportunity to learn from what they do to improve our patients’ experience of care.

Our Acute Oncology Service, set up in 2011, gives cancer patients with oncology emergencies access to specialist advice, quick oncological assessment and a single advice route to all clinicians. This enables admissions to be avoided, length of stay to be reduced, with oncological expertise provided to support both the patients and their families.

It’s important that we continue to retain and recruit talent within the department. We’ve recently appointed additional Clinical Nurse Specialists for Urology and Secondary Breast Cancer, as well as expanded our Acute Oncology Service with the recruitment of Dr Hewish to the substantive consultant position. Our recent bid to Macmillan for a Cancer Support Worker was successful, and we now have two new palliative medicine consultants; Dr Henderson and Dr Smith.

Our work is about supporting people living with a diagnosis of cancer. As part of this we complement our care here with the UK-wide NHS initiative, ’Recovery Package’ which provides a combination of different interventions, designed to help those living with and beyond cancer. More recently, we jointly hosted with the North West Surrey CCG our second Health and Wellbeing event which was evaluated by those that attended as a huge success. Patients commented on the event having ‘A holistic approach that recognised the connections between the medical, emotional, work and financial areas.’