A team of care workers who help people affected by cancer have been rated among the best service in the region for personalised care – based on feedback from those they have supported.
Since the team of cancer care co-ordinators at North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust started two years ago the team has been supporting patients from moment they are diagnosed until they have completed all of their treatment – acting as a central point of contact for patients and their families.
This has led to the team receiving a positive response in the Northern Cancer Alliance in the National Cancer Patient Experience Survey – with the Trust performing above the ‘expected range’ in 15 of the questions.
Kendra Powell, Macmillan lead cancer nurse, said: “The cancer care coordinators have worked tirelessly to embed personalised care within each of the cancer teams.
“As a result patient experience has improved greatly, this was backed up by the survey results.
“The team offer personalised care to patients with a cancer diagnosis and have recently been congratulated by the Northern Cancer Alliance on the number of holistic needs assessments they have completed with patients.”
Once a holistic needs assessment has been completed by a cancer care co-ordinator, any needs highlighted are addressed, this could mean completing onward referrals or sign posting for the relevant information.
This joined up care and enhanced communication between secondary and primary care, enables the team to free-up clinician time to deal with more complex patients and improve the patient’s experience.
Kendra added: “The coordinators are able to spend time talking to patients giving them all of the information they need and this in turns empowers patients to take control of their own care.
“We are working towards bridging the gap with those patients who are most likely to experience health inequalities again the coordinators have all the tools required to ensure patients have all the support they need at such a difficult ad stressful time in their lives.
“The cancer care coordinators have become an invaluable resource over the last couple of years, they are embedded within the clinical teams and we would be lost without them, the work they do supporting patients on a daily basis is second to none as an organisation we are very proud of the role and how it has developed.”
“They have been extremely supportive since I was diagnosed. I can and have contacted her since and she always, without fail, answers my query, gives relevant support and advice and importantly seeks answers from other appropriate professionals with regard to care and treatment.”
“A very cheerful understanding voice on the end of the phone. Made me feel supported and nothing was too much trouble.”