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Community care cancer pilot launched in East Anglia

PUBLISHED: 11:21 11 December 2013 | UPDATED: 11:21 11 December 2013

A pilot scheme has been launched so that more cancer patients in East Anglia can get more care closer to home with more nurses based in the community.

The project will offer support to patients who have had their initial cancer treatment and have continuing care needs arising from the effects of cancer.

Macmillan Cancer Support and the NHS East of England Strategic Clinical Network are working with local authorities, GP surgeries, Clinical Commissioning Groups and hospital trusts as well as the private and third sectors, to pilot the model of care that is delivered by community cancer nurses and support workers.

The teams will allow patients to receive more of their care in the community, including within their own home, reducing the need for hospital-based care when appropriate.

Gwyneth Tyler, senior Macmillan development manager for Anglia, said: “Macmillan believes that a cancer patient’s individual needs are best met by a variety of professionals. This includes clinical nurse specialists, physiotherapists, support workers, district nurses and practice nurses to name a few. We hope to learn a lot from this pilot about what a sustainable model of cancer care for the future could look like.”

The community cancer nurse and support worker roles have been developed in conjunction with patient groups.

Tonia Dawson, strategic clinical network manager and lead nurse for cancer, added: “This exciting programme is laying down the foundations for the future of cancer nursing. The increasing demand on current health care services isn’t sustainable, and with 16 nurses in our pilots, there are already more than 1,000 patients directly benefiting from this new service.”

The Great Yarmouth and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group is hosting one of the pilots.

Shirley Green from Bradwell, near Great Yarmouth, who is a patient of the pilot, said: “My community cancer nurse has been great. She visits me at home shortly after each chemotherapy session and is always at the end of the phone. She is a constant point of contact who I can speak to about anything from medical questions to queries about my treatment and the emotional impact of a cancer diagnosis. She also supports my husband in his role as my carer.”

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