Nurse Awards

Sessions inform and support patients before chemotherapy

Information mornings for people about to embark on a course of chemotherapy, which were developed by nurses, have been scoring highly on patient experience surveys.

Alison PeettAlison Peett. Picture credit: Stephen Shepherd

The initiative by a team at Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, led by Alison Peett, has also been helping patients and carers establish a peer support network.

The team is nominated in the cancer nursing category of the RCNi Nurse Awards 2016, the profession’s top accolade for nursing excellence.

The award, sponsored by Macmillan Cancer Support, recognises nurses whose initiatives have improved care for patients with cancer.

Alison PeettAlison Peett and team. Picture credit: Stephen Shepherd

Training and development nurse Alison led the transformation of services at Cheltenham General Hospital. Previously patients attended a one-to-one session on chemotherapy but often had to wait for an appointment. The information they received was not standardised and was time-consuming for nurses to deliver. Patients reported feeling overwhelmed and were not making use of the unit’s information service.

Under the new scheme, a maximum of eight patients attend an information morning before their chemotherapy and are able to bring a carer with them. People receive tailored written information and are signposted to support services that will meet their specific needs.

While patients and carers wait for the information morning to begin, volunteers serve drinks, which gives the patients an opportunity to talk to each other and develop a peer support network.

Alison says: ‘The team has embraced the changes and all the hard work has been worth it – the feedback from patients and carers has been positive. I feel we are making a difference to their experience at a time when they could be feeling overwhelmed.’

About the sponsor

Macmillan Cancer SupportMacmillan 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