An innovative scheme at Shropshire’s acute hospitals, which is designed to transform the lives of people living with cancer, has been shortlisted for a national award.
The Living With and Beyond Cancer Programme, which was developed by The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH) in partnership with Macmillan Cancer Support, has been shortlisted in the 2020 Nursing Times Awards.
The Living With and Beyond Cancer Programme aims to enable and empower patients to recover as fully as possible and to live well with cancer throughout their treatment and beyond.
In collaboration with patients, SaTH developed new and innovative tools to promote self-care and self-management to support recovery. These include a patient passport, living well with cancer events and on-line resources for patients to access advice and support from the comfort of their own homes.
Nationally, two million people live with and beyond cancer in the UK with more people surviving for longer. Due to the ageing population, advances in treatments and earlier diagnosis, this figure is set to climb.
A study by Macmillan revealed 1/3 of people living with and beyond cancer experience unmet needs at the end of treatment. For 60% of people, these needs have not improved six months after treatment.
SaTH’s programme aims to improve patient experience by ensuring patients have information to help them manage their recovery. The team developed a ‘My Passport to Living Well’ document to act as a handheld record which patients can use to assess their own needs and be signposted to resources in place to support them.
The team also developed ‘Living Well with Cancer’ events in community venues across Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin and mid Wales to bring care closer to patients. Sessions are open to all patients and carers at any time during and after their cancer treatment.
Sessions are informal and interactive enabling patients to learn from, and share, their own experiences, tips and advice. Developed with patients, these sessions are facilitated and led by trained patient champions.
During the coronavirus pandemic, when these sessions have not been able to happen, the team has set up virtual ‘coffee and catch-up’ sessions.
The partner of one patient who attended a Living Well with Cancer event said: “We learnt so much from coming to the Living Well session and are more confident about what we can do to live well and stay well during our treatment and hopefully for the many years ahead of us.
“Thank you very much. You do a grand job enabling shared experiences to extend the lives and hopes of those with cancer and their loved ones too.”
As an alternative to the community events, ‘Living Well’ videos have also been created to ensure all patients have access to concise, accurate information along with peer support and education. Patients and families can choose when to watch them, how often, what to do next and get inspiration for safe self-management.
When developing the videos, the team asked other hospitals in the region to collaborate, increasing the scope of the impact from 30,000 people locally to over 100,000 regionally.
Jessica Greenwood, Lead Cancer Nurse at SaTH, (pictured) said: “We are absolutely delighted to have been shortlisted in the Nursing Times Awards. This has been a fantastic collaborative effort.
“Our work has benefits for patients, family members, carers, cancer teams and other healthcare professionals. The programme promotes wellbeing and ensures consistent high quality care and information is provided to everyone.”
Nursing Times editor, Steve Ford said: “The challenge of tackling Covid-19, coming as it has during the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife, has showcased the great work and innovation of nurses in every setting across the UK.
“The Nursing Times Awards provides us with a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the profession’s exceptional achievements in a very difficult year, and I look forward to announcing the winners.”
The winners will be announced on 14 October at an event due to take place at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London.
For more information about Living With and Beyond Cancer, email [email protected]