A Skype clinic is reducing the need for patients with liver cancer to make exhausting trips to hospital.
Gillian Al-Kadhimi, from King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust in London, introduced the clinic in the hepatocellular carcinoma liver cancer unit. It allows some patients to access specialist care from the comfort of their own home.
There are only seven liver centres in the UK so patients were often having to make long, exhausting and expensive trips to hospital.
Gillian’s initiative has earned her a nomination in the Cancer Nursing category of the RCNi Nurse Awards 2016. The award, sponsored by Macmillan Cancer Support, is for nurses whose initiatives have led to better care for patients with cancer.
The Skype clinic is available for a select cohort of patients and has proved especially valuable for those undergoing intensive treatments – a new type of oral chemotherapy being prescribed requires close and frequent monitoring, which had significantly increased the number of patients coming in to clinic.
Gillian says: ‘This is not just about clinic slots but improving patient experience and quality of life for patients and their families at a traumatic time in their lives.’
Seeing patients on screen rather than just hearing their voice on the telephone has improved assessment, allowing early intervention when needed. It has also improved access to palliative care. Patient feedback on the initiative has been excellent.
Gillian says: ‘As nurses, myself and the rest of the team work hard to make patients’ experience of treatment at King’s as positive as possible.
‘I am proud to be able to make a difference to our patients, and I am grateful to the wider liver team and the trust for their support.’
About the sponsor
Macmillan Cancer Support
Cancer can affect someone’s whole life. Macmillan provides practical, financial and emotional support from the time of diagnosis, during treatment and increasingly after cancer. Macmillan Support Line is a free, confidential service for anyone affected by cancer. Specialist teams can help with questions about treatment, fears and worries, or financial support. Call 0808 8080000 Monday to Friday, 9am-8pm. Free information booklets provide accurate and clear information on a range of subjects, and the Macmillan information and support centres offer face-to-face support. The online community connects people when they may feel alone. For more information visit macmillan.org.uk/patientsupport