Young long-term cancer patients could enjoy improved care by nurses after national guidance has been published on the issue.
A study to discover what constitutes best practice when caring for children and young people suffering from the long-term effects of cancer treatments was carried out to help ensure nurses are better equipped to look after their patients.
The guidance was published in the Royal College of Nursing’s official competence framework following the completion of the project, which was commissioned and funded by NHS Improvement as part of the Department of Health’s National Cancer Survivorship Initiative.
Nurses Dr Diana Greenfield and Jan Siddall led the study with help from a research team from Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Sheffield Children’s Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and the North Trent Cancer Network.
The project is the first time that care of children suffering from the long-term effects of cancer has been examined so thoroughly, and it is hoped that nurses will be able to use the guidance to deliver more effective care to their young patients.
Dr Greenfield said: “We wanted to explore this and so ran a project to find out what the ‘ideal’ role for nurses is. We found that what managers said was the ideal role was quite different to what nurses were actually doing.
“Most importantly, however, we found that they identified a host of key competences that make up best practice in nursing.”