NGH cancer teams wins national award for its support for patients
L-R: Jenny Lancaster, Wendy Lilley and Laura Sheehan
A team supporting cancer patients at Northampton General has won a national award for the way it delivers its service.
The hospitals Macmillan Information & Support Team has won the Macmillan Professional Excellence Award in its Integration Excellence category - which recognises teams that have improved the way they deliver services in an integrated way to patients.
The team, based in the Macmillan Information Centre at NGH, have described how they have transformed the way they deliver information and support for cancer patients after questioning them, in a variety of ways, about what works best for them.
The team’s nomination for the award read “When Covid hit, this team were able to respond by producing as much helpful and accessible content as they could for people with cancer. They have developed a huge library of content with information about specific cancer types, as well as general concerns and information for clinical teams.
“They also created a popular YouTube channel which now has 80 videos. The lived experience of people with cancer was crucial in the project making a huge difference to the impact of the information; and they even feature patients in their videos too.
The judges felt this was true integration between patients and professionals and hope to see this service continue to evolve.”
Macmillan Information and Support Lead, Wendy Lilley said: “Feedback from cancer surveys showed that our patients had felt overwhelmed with written information.
“We felt we needed to change our approach and started by asking patients what they really wanted through a patient/carer focus group, through support groups, and by the development of a Patients’ Forum attached to the Macmillan Information Centre.
“Patients and carers highlighted the need for a variety of different approaches to meet their individual information and support needs including videos, webinars, workshops, activities and special events.
“As a result we worked with patients to develop those things to address key concerns including fatigue management, eating well, sleeping, relaxation, and coping with emotional thoughts.
“Patients also identified they wanted more information on treatment-induced early menopause, hormone therapy (breast cancer), erectile dysfunction, incontinence and managing hot flushes.”
NGH’s Chief Nursing Officer, Nerea Odongo, said: “I am delighted our amazing team have won a national award. The Macmillan Information and Support Team deliver detailed work to support cancer patients in the way that they want to be supported.”
A range of other work provided by the centre has included:
- Offering patients prehabilitation – steps people can take before they start their cancer treatment to help improve their wellbeing. This includes advice on physical activity, nutrition, and emotional wellbeing.
- Developing information and videos in other languages and tailoring it to support patients with specific needs such as having learning difficulties or being hard-of-hearing.
- Holding a weekly financial drop-in clinic at the Macmillan Information Centre run by the Citizens Advice services
- Hosting a weekly walking group for patients and carers
- Running the HOPE program (Helping People Overcome Problems Effectively)
- Offering one-to-one appointments to discuss individual concerns.
Much of the information is now available through the Information Centre’s website www.northantscancerguide.co.uk and through a dedicated You Tube channel.
Posted on Wednesday 15th November 2023