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Practice nurses trained to treat cancer as chronic condition

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A scheme to train practice nurses in managing cancer as a long-term condition is likely to be rolled out across South West London, pending a positive feedback from a pilot scheme.

Nurses at 12 GP practices in Wandsworth have so far been trained in the management of cancer as a long-term condition. They attended six training sessions, which were facilitated by GPs and cancer nurse specialists, with input from patients.

“The purpose was to empower practice nurses to review patients living with cancer and beyond cancer treatment”

Jatinder Bhuhi

The scheme was highlighted in a report on Wandsworth Clinical Commissioning Group’s progress towards improving cancer services, which was published in February.

Commissioning redesign manager Jatinder Bhuhi said: “The purpose was to empower practice nurses to review patients living with cancer and beyond cancer treatment and to help manage their needs.

“Practice nurses are already doing this for other long-term conditions and the benefits of training them to do this for patients with cancer is likely to improve the patient’s experience of care in a cost-effective way while reducing GP workload,” he said.

“Dependent on the evaluation, the course is likely to be repeated again, this time at a South West London level to increase the pool of practice nurses trained,” he added.

The scheme, which was funded by Macmillan Cancer Support, is being evaluated via questionnaires completed by nurses at the end of each day and at the end of the course overall.

Each nurse will also be followed up by a mentor in the community after three months to assess how they have put their learning into practice, said Mr Bhuhi.

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