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UK cancer nurse to tell world about 'patient friendly' wards

A Worcestershire cancer nurse who is leading the way in creating “patient friendly” radiotherapy services is to share her experiences with nurses from across the globe.

Anne Sullivan, cancer manger and Macmillan lead cancer nurse at Worcestershire Acute Hospitals Trust, has played a key role in the design of the trust’s first radiotherapy centre, having researched the impact of radiotherapy environments on patients.

“Patients told me the centre should be homely, comfortable, personal and friendly with a feeling of warmth”

Anne Sullivan

She will be jetting off to Panama to present her findings as one of 11 UK delegates speaking at the International Conference on Cancer Nursing in September.

The radiotherapy centre she helped create, which is due to open in January next year, features photos of parkland in reception area, pictures of the sky on the ceilings of treatment rooms and floor-to-ceiling glass throughout.

Ms Sullivan said this was in response to feedback from patients who wanted a “light, airy” environment that was linked to the natural world.

“Hospitals, and especially radiotherapy units, are characterised by the presence of large machined and equipment that can seem strange and impersonal to patients,” she said. “Patients told me the centre should be homely, comfortable, personal and friendly with a feeling of warmth.

“They wanted a light, airy environment and contact with the outside environment, especially nature views, to help their wellbeing,” she added.

Patients also requested facilities that reflected “normality”, such as a cafe and shop, which could also help relieve the boredom and stress of attending appointments.

Ms Sullivan will have the chance to showcase her work and the centre’s innovative design to more than 750 top cancer nursing professionals at the conference, which is hosted by the International Society of Nurses in Cancer Care.

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