Bradford is piloting a new way to support people to live better with and beyond cancer.
The new initiative aims to ensure that every patient is aware of and able to access the range of support and services available to help them reach their goals and live as full a life as possible after treatment.
The pilot is being coordinated by the West Yorkshire and Harrogate Cancer Alliance and involves partners Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, the Bradford district clinical commissioning groups and Cancer Support Yorkshire, with funding from Macmillan Cancer Support.
Bradford Teaching Hospitals Foundation Trust said that, from now on, the offer of support to help people with their personal finances, the ability to maintain social networks and psychological wellbeing as well as chronic physical problems such as fatigue and pain, will be formalised in a face-to-face appointment.
Patients will also be supported through the process by the use of an electronic Health Needs Assessment – or eHNA – devised by Macmillan, which helps patients to think about their issues or concerns and possible solutions. They will then be signposted to support services, as appropriate.
Initially, the scheme will be focused on people who have come to the end of their treatment for head and neck cancer; gynaecological cancer; cancers of the gastrointestinal tract (digestive system), such as stomach, liver and pancreas, as well as colorectal cancer.
Amanda Procter, Lead Cancer Nurse for Bradford Teaching Hospitals, said: “More people than ever are living with and beyond cancer, so it’s crucial that the NHS recognises that quality of life outcomes are as important to people as survival.
“We already work very closely with Cancer Support Yorkshire in Bradford to provide opportunities for people to access support services and information which can enable them to reach their personal goals after treatment.
“However, we know that not everyone is currently making the most of those opportunities, or perhaps aren’t even aware that they are there. That’s why this pilot programme is so important as it makes the offer of support an integral part of the patient journey and appointment process, so patients don’t miss out because they have moved on after their treatment has ended and miss the opportunity to improve their quality of life in the future.”