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Chemo nurses expand pioneering home care service to treat skin cancer

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A pioneering service to treat cancer patients in their home is now being offered to suitable skin cancer patients on Merseyside.

Nurses from the Clatterbridge Cancer Centre NHS Foundation Trust already deliver a “cancer treatment at home service” in areas across the region to patients receiving oral treatments.

“Staff get great job satisfaction from delivering this bespoke service”

Joan Spencer

The home service was first piloted on suitable breast cancer patients receiving trastuzumab (Herceptin) treatment.

Thanks to its success, the trust said nurses were now expanding the service further and offering suitable melanoma patients intravenous treatments such as the drug pembrolizumab (Keytruda).

As part of the service, a highly-trained specialist chemotherapy nurse from the trust visits the patient and delivers their cancer treatment in their own home rather than in a hospital setting.

Joan Spencer, the trust’s general manager for chemotherapy services, said: “This service provides our patients with the opportunity to have treatment in the comfort of their own home without worrying about how they will get to and from hospital.

Clatterbridge Cancer Centre NHS Foundation Trust

Chemotherapy nurses expand pioneering home service

Joan Spencer

“We aim to expand this service to ensure all treatments that are suitable for home delivery are included in the programme,” she said. “The feedback from patients treated in the programme has been fantastic and staff get great job satisfaction from delivering this bespoke service.”

The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre treats more than 45,000 outpatient chemotherapy treatments every year.

More than 50% of these are delivered at nurse-led clinics held in eight district hospitals across Merseyside and Cheshire.

As reported last week by Nursing Times, patients are also benefitting from an innovative service thought of by Clatterbridge nursing staff, which has cut waiting times and simplified their appointments for treatment. The “rapid chemotherapy chair” was the idea of nurses on the Delamere Ward Day Case Unit.

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