Lung cancer nurses are finalists in national award

Posted 18th November 2020

The lung cancer nursing team at Cheshire and Merseyside’s specialist cancer hospital will find out this week if they have won one of the most prestigious awards in healthcare and nursing.

The expert Lung Cancer Advanced Nurse Practitioner Team at The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre NHS Foundation Trust are finalists in the ‘Cancer Nursing’ category of the Nursing Times Awards 2020, which will take place virtually on Wednesday 18 November 2020.

The awards final is particularly timely as November marks Lung Cancer Awareness Month and the North West has some of the highest rates of lung cancer in the country. The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre – which delivers highly-specialist care from its sites in Aintree, Liverpool and Wirral, as well as other hospitals across the region – has been shortlisted for its work in developing the lung oncology service and new nurse-led follow-up programme.

People with lung cancer can have complex medical requirements and are best supported by a multidisciplinary team to help manage and support them. Over the past two years The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre has developed its lung clinic with the introduction of experienced Advanced Nurse Practitioners and Clinical Nurse Specialists who are able to conduct nursing assessments and telephone follow ups with patients who have undergone intense courses of radiotherapy.

The team are trained to identify any potential side effects patients may be experiencing following their radiotherapy treatment and arrange phone calls with them four to six weeks after treatment when symptoms can become more prevalent. With the early identification of treatment toxicity, the team can then arrange further reviews or medication to support patients’ health. Throughout the patients’ treatment and surveillance period they will also receive holistic assessments by the team to help support any lifestyle changes and consider the patients’ psychological wellbeing.

By developing the lung oncology service in this way, The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre is able to provide greater continuity of care for patients, improving their overall outcomes as well as experience as the need to visit hospital is less frequent -saving people both time and stress. The introduction of the nurse-led service has also benefited the wider lung cancer patient pathway as the reduction in outpatient appointments due to telephone follow-ups has allowed consultants to see a greater number of new patient referrals.

June Holmes, Lung Cancer Advanced Nurse Practitioner who worked on the award submission alongside her colleague Sarah Rose, said: “We’re over the moon to be finalists at the Nursing Times Awards. We’ve worked really hard as a team to get the service just right and we’re extremely proud of what we have managed to achieve.

“Our patients have really benefited from the service as we note the reduced levels of anxiety since people don’t have to come to hospital for appointments as often. The fact that it’s also helping consultants see more new patient referrals has been a real bonus and one that we’re continuously looking to develop further.”

Sheila Lloyd, Director of Nursing and Quality at The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are always looking at ways to improve the care and experience for our patients. I am delighted that our lung cancer nursing team has been recognised for doing just this.

“The service the team has developed and the innovative programme they have introduced has all been shaped by our patients’ needs and is a great demonstration of collaborative team working with consultants and the wider lung site reference group (SRG).”

2020 marks the 30th anniversary of the Nursing Time Awards as well as International Year of the Nurse and Midwife, and this year’s awards is an opportunity to promote and praise the fantastic work of nurses across the country who have shown true commitment and dedication to the profession especially over the past six months during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The full list of nominees for Nursing Times Awards can be found here.