Patients on Merseyside are benefitting from a pioneering service that allows them to receive treatment for cancer in their workplace.
The service is delivered by nurses from the Clatterbridge Cancer Centre NHS Foundation Trust and was launched earlier this year as part of a community outpatients initiative.
“Our aim is to make the treatment journey as smooth as possible for all of our patients”
The Clatterbridge in the Community project has been running for more than three years, and already sees suitable patients being treated at home with chemotherapy and other treatments.
The extension into the work place involves a specialist chemotherapy nurse from the cancer centre visiting the patient and delivering their cancer treatment in a safe and suitable area.
At present, the new service is limited to suitable patients receiving trastuzumab (Herceptin) for breast cancer or other treatments that can be delivered by subcutaneous injection.
Chemotherapy service to treat patients at work
Frances Yip, general manager for chemotherapy services at the trust, said: “Our aim is to make the treatment journey as smooth as possible for all of our patients.
“Getting back to work is a really important part of this journey for many of our patients and we want to do everything we can to help them do that while they are still receiving vital treatment in a safe and comfortable environment,” she said.
“For some patients it can be a struggle and extra stress travelling to our clinics for treatment, particularly if they are back at work,” she said. “Treatment at work is a great way to avoid that stress and help people continue their treatment and combine it with their lives in a stress-free way.
“We are still in the early phases and currently only offer this service to suitable patients receiving Herceptin (trastuzumab) or other treatments that are delivered by sub-cut injection,” she added.
Gerry Williams, 53, a librarian from Mossley Hill in Liverpool, was diagnosed with breast cancer in February 2017. She had a course of chemotherapy before a lumpectomy and then radiotherapy.
She said: “I think the main advantage is it doesn’t take you away from your normal day and stops you feeling like a patient.
“We spend so much time in the hospital with various appointments that this is a nice way of letting go of being in the hospital and feeling yourself again,” she said.
“This is a nice way of letting go of being in the hospital and feeling yourself again”
Glen Crisp, 50, receives her Herceptin injections at M&J Seafood in Birchwood, Warrington, where she works in accounts. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in February 2017.
She said: “It is great as I could get back to work straight after my injection, whereas I used to lose a whole day every time I had to have treatment. It really helped make life normal again.”
The trust delivers more than 55,000 outpatient chemotherapy treatments every year, including those delivered in the community and via nurse-led clinics in seven district general hospitals across Merseyside and Cheshire.