A major new network of nursing organisations hopes to help nurses try and improve outcomes for patients recovering from cancer.
Latest predictions suggest by 2020 almost 40% of patients with cancer will not die from the disease, but many will be left with physical, practical, emotional and psychological issues.
The Cancer Nursing Partnership, launched today, is a collaboration of organisations representing over 22,000 nurses from a dozen specialist organisations. Its members include nursing charities such as Macmillan, specialist oncology nurse groups and the Royal College of Nursing.
The partnership said it had been formed to deliver a new “recovery” care package for patients, with the focus on person, not cancer, centred care.
It is working to roll out the recovery package – a series of key interventions which, when delivered together, can greatly improve outcomes for people living with and beyond cancer and reduce unnecessary hospital attendance.
The package consists of four “fundamental” parts:
- A holistic assessment of the person’s needs, and a tailored plan for meeting these, to enable them to maximise their wellbeing post-treatment
- A treatment summary that explains to the GP and the individual what treatment has taken place and what should happen next, giving them confidence to self-manage their condition
- A cancer care review with their GP within six months of diagnosis, to ensure they are getting the support they need
- A health and wellbeing event that aims to educates and empower the person to manage their condition and keep themselves as fit and healthy as possible
The package also highlights other areas that the network says can “make a big difference”, including rehabilitation, self-management, back to work support and financial advice.
Rose Gallagher, the RCN’s lead for cancer care, said: “This is an important collaborative project that will bring numerous benefits to cancer patients.
“It’s a new and exciting way of working together to influence change and promote top quality nursing practice,” she said.
She added: “Nursing staff have a big part to play in the roll out of the recovery package and in increasing patients’ access to person-centred care.”
Steve Richards, director of professional engagement at Macmillan Cancer Support, said: “The partnership has the potential to directly reach 22,000 nurses, each of whom can promote and deliver the recovery package.”
The partnership comprises 12 organisations:
- Breast Cancer Care Nursing Network
- British Association of Head and Neck Oncology Nurses
- British Association of Urology Nurses
- Consequences of Cancer and its Treatment
- East of England Strategic Clinical Network Cancer Nursing Lead
- Macmillan Cancer Support
- National Colorectal Cancer Nursing Network
- National Forum of Gynaecological Oncology Nurses
- National Lung Cancer Forum for Nurses
- Royal College of Nursing – RCN Cancer and Breast Care Forum
- Royal College of Nursing – RCN Practice Nurses Association
- United Kingdom Oncology Nursing Society