It is Velindre’s aim that all patients have access to a named specialist nurse, who is specialised in a particular cancer site and a Welsh Government Target that all cancer patients should have an identified key worker.
Cancer Nurse Specialist’s provide an essential service to patients and their families. Their value and key contribution to the patient care has been well researched and published over the last few years. The conclusions are that CNS’s are necessary to provide clinical care, quality information and support and to develop services independently of medical staff for example nurse led clinics and independent prescribing. CNS’s should be available to patients, carers and their families regardless of the patient’s cancer site.
The role of the CNS is integral to the Trust being able to comply with the recent Welsh Assembly directive on identification of key workers throughout the cancer patient pathway and the All Wales Career Framework for Nurses in Wales. In the recent All Wales Macmillan Cancer Patient experience survey (2014), 91% of patients with a clinical nurse specialist reported that they felt their care was excellent, compared to 77% of patients without a clinical nurse’s specialist.
The current post holders have made substantial improvements to the quality of care received by cancers patient in their care;
These include, improved patient experience
· Key worker for patients with cancer having oncology treatment.
· Close liaison between hospital and community teams (both GP & palliative care)
· Provision of patient information both at VCC & in outreach in particular.
· Key role in the roll out of the treatment pathways e.g. Herceptin
· Non medical prescribing
· Team working/improved pathways
· Close working with colleagues within and out with the cancer centre
· Patient voice at Multi Disciplinary Team; particularly for patients experiencing pathway delays use of resource
· Supporting clinictians in clinic. Seeing patients independently, carrying out chemotherapy consent and prescribing, liaising with clinical trials teams, supporting junior doctors in clinic and on wards.
· Offering telephone consultation as opposed to clinic attendance where appropriate.
Working with local Acute Oncology Teams and community palliative care teams to ensure appropriate care planning to avoid admission and timely discharge of patients where appropriate.