A new project has begun that will offer patients an opportunity to access support through a cancer care review nurse following funding from Macmillan.
Sharon Huntley, Macmillan clinical nurse specialist, has been appointed to provide clinical expertise for the 12-month project.
“The review will look at more than just medical support”
She will be working with patients to identify a care plan so that they can proactively self-manage their condition.
The scheme is being offered to 200 patients with cancer, registered at four GP practices in the Aireborough area of Leeds.
The project is a partnership between Leeds West Clinical Commissioning Group, Rawdon Surgery, Aire Valley Medical Group, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust and Macmillan Cancer Support.
Patients will be offered a one off consultation with Ms Huntley, when she will assess what support they may need to manage their own health as well as advice on wider issues such as return to work. Regular reviews are available for patients who need further advice or support.
“There’s a general sense of shock and anxiety about what the future might hold”
Ahead of the start of the project, Ms Huntley said: “Regardless of what stage you are on the cancer journey, there’s a general sense of shock and anxiety about what the future might hold. This can mean that some people feel vulnerable and fall out of a routine that helps them maintain a healthy lifestyle.
“In addition, there’s wider concerns that need to be addressed such as how will people adjust at work or are there any additional financial worries,” she said. “The review will look at more than just medical support and will link into community groups that could help patients.
“The cancer care review is designed to help people establish a sense of normality to their lives and to encourage self-care but patients will be to contact me if they feel they need to,” she added.
The GP practices taking part in the scheme are Menston and Guiseley Practice, Rawdon Surgery, Guiseley and Yeadon Medical Practice and Yeadon Tarn Medical Practice.
The project is part of a study to see whether a cancer care review service could be developed at a citywide level. At the end of the project an evaluation will take place to see if patients have greater confidence to self-care as well as how effective the service has been for health and care staff.
Ms Huntley works as a clinical nurse specialist at the Leeds Cancer Centre based at St James’s Hospital. After qualifying in 1983, she worked in theatres before specialising in cancer care with a particular expertise in supporting people with stomach or oesophageal cancers.