Latest news for health and social care professionals
Stay up to date with the latest news and updates for health and social care professionals from Macmillan. Check back each month for new stories.
Developing a skill mix to better support people with cancer
To ensure people with cancer have access to the right staff with the right skills to meet their individual needs, Macmillan has piloted a new Support Worker role that enables people to self assess using the holistic needs assessment and that signposts to support as appropriate. In our experience this also frees up Cancer Nurse Specialists to focus on care that requires specialist support.
Macmillan CNS Nikki Snuggs works closely alongside Patrycja Slyk, a Macmillan Support Worker, at the Royal Marsden Hospital in London. Nikki explains: ‘The main difficulty historically is that we tend to have a lot of patients and not many CNSs. As patients progress through their treatment, I think it’s fair to say CNS contact with them decreases unless they are in great need, as there are other people who have just been diagnosed and need our attention.
‘Now we have Patrycja in our team, she’s able to help us meet the needs of more people at different stages – even after treatment. She’s an extra point of contact; someone who can identify needs and signpost people to support.
‘Patrycja started out as a healthcare assistant in a breast clinic, so already had lots of practical knowledge. Over time she’s built up even more experience and we’ve become more confident in her taking over certain tasks – which has had huge benefits for the whole team as well as patients.’
We know things are challenging at the moment, and that the numbers of people with cancer continue to grow, so please remember that we’re here to support you and your colleagues too.
For example, we remain strongly committed to increasing the numbers of CNS posts so that everyone affected by cancer has access to the specialist support they need.
To learn more about the support worker role, get in touch with your local Macmillan Service Development Team.
Publication of the Cancer Strategy
Last month, the Independent Cancer Taskforce published its recommendations for a new five-year cancer strategy for England. These will now be reviewed by the government, and NHS England. Other bodies, including Health Education England and Public Health England, will respond later in the year, setting out how these recommendations are implemented over the next five years.
The Taskforce is an independent body made up of senior individuals from across the health and care sector. Macmillan has been closely involved in this work, with Juliet Bouverie, Director of Services and Influencing, representing Macmillan on the Taskforce. Teams from across Macmillan have been developing our key priorities for the new strategy for England and supporting Juliet to influence the final outcome. The Strategy provides great opportunities for us to drive the changes we know need to happen in the treatment, support and care for people living with cancer.
What does the strategy include?
The recommendations cover every area of cancer care in England. The document has a balanced focus across the entire patient pathway and clearly reflects Macmillan’s priorities in its recommendations. It includes a strong emphasis on improving people’s experiences of their care, treatment and support, and on supporting people living with and beyond cancer, including at the end of life. You can read the full set of recommendations online [PDF].
This is a huge opportunity to improve cancer care and support in England. We will be working closely with NHS England and the other bodies to help ensure the strategy is implemented in a timely way, with sufficient funding attached to it.
40 years of service
2015 is a really exciting year for Macmillan. It was 40 years ago that Macmillan built, equipped and opened the first Macmillan unit, at Christchurch Hospital (now Macmillan Caring Locally). We also funded the first Macmillan nurse.
Ann Nash is named as one of the first Macmillan professionals1 and is described as one of the first nurses to take her palliative care skills into the community.
‘The future was uncertain but the opportunity was too exciting to miss.’
Ann represents how Macmillan professionals enabled Douglas Macmillan’s vision of a ‘panel of voluntary nurses, who can be detailed off to attend to necessitous patients in their own homes,’ to become a reality.
Ann went on to work for Macmillan for eight years as a nurse consultant and represented Macmillan abroad in helping to set up the first hospice in the Soviet Union. She then went on to hold director roles at a number of NHS trusts and Clinical Commissioning Groups.
Over the coming months you’ll hear more about life working in cancer care since the 1970’s as we interview and share stories from current and past post holders. If you or someone you know has a story to share, we’d love to hear from you.
1 Paul Rossi, Fighting Cancer with More Than Medicine: A History of Macmillan Cancer Support.
New business card holders available
We’re pleased to announce a new addition to the range of merchandise available exclusively to you in your Macmillan role: business card holders.
Available to order now, the new leather-style card holders feature the Macmillan logo embossed on the front. They aim to make it more convenient for you to store and carry your business cards, so that your contact details are handy to give out to colleagues or the people you support.
To order your card holder and view the wide range of other materials on offer, simply log in to your be.Macmillan account. Or if you aren’t yet registered, sign up as a Macmillan professional.
Rapid Referral Guidelines released
Macmillan’s Rapid Referral Guidelines have been developed by GPs, for GPs, with the aim of providing support, guidance and practical recommendations on cancer referrals and pathways.
Available now as an interactive PDF, this ‘referral toolkit’ features the 2015 update of the NICE referral guidelines for suspected cancer and is organised by tumour type. There’s also space for GPs to add contact information for local services – so they can quickly signpost patients to health services in their area.
We’re currently developing versions of the PDF for smartphones and tablets so it can also be used away from practice. These will be available at the beginning of September 2015.
Please note the Rapid Referral Guidelines are based on the 2015 NICE suspected cancer guidance, whose remit covers England and Wales. Our Rapid Referral Guidelines apply to GPs and referral pathways in England and Wales only. However, other nations may find these guidelines a useful reference and resource.
For more information about the guidelines, please contact the Prevention and Diagnosis Team.
Prevention and Diagnosis Team honoured
There was some great news from the Patient Safety Awards in Birmingham last month, with Macmillan’s Prevention and Diagnosis Team taking home the award for Cancer Care. The team was recognised for its work with BMJ Informatica in developing and piloting the electronic Cancer Decision Support (eCDS) tool.
Part funded by the Department of Health and evaluated by Cancer Research UK, the eCDS tool runs in the background of a GP’s computer system and is activated when a patient record is viewed. As well as alerting GPs to an individual’s cancer risk, it supports their decision-making on whether to refer a patient for further investigation. More than 1,200 practices are now using the tool, serving six million patients in total.
Patient Safety Awards 2015
A number of Macmillan professionals were also shortlisted for last month’s Patient Safety Awards, in the following categories:
Sarah Burton, Lead Cancer Clinician and Lead Nurse Cancer and Palliative Care at Ashford & St Peters Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
Tricia Feber, Nurse Consultant at Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust at Harrogate District Hospital
Keely Clawson and Jodie Eastwood, both Clinical Nurse Specialists at the Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust
Catherine Fitzsimmons, Macmillan Nurse Consultant at Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust
End of Life Care
Sarah Mullen and Alice Davies, both Macmillan Associate Leads at Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust
Managing Long Term Conditions
Louise Shakespeare, Macmillan Advanced Nurse at NHS Highland
Quality of Care
Sarah Burton, Lead Cancer Clinician and Lead Nurse Cancer and Palliative Care at Ashford & St Peters Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
It’s always fantastic to see the outstanding work of Macmillan professionals being acknowledged on a national level – congratulations to them all.
Learning and development
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A selection of upcoming courses
Places are filling up fast for all the remaining course dates in 2015, book now to make sure you don’t miss out.
Here’s a selection of the various learning and development opportunities across the UK:
Remember, you can view and sign up for all courses on the Learn Zone website.
Poster submissions for Macmillan Professionals Conference 2015
The annual Macmillan Professionals Conference will take place in Birmingham on 11–12 November. As in previous years, we’re inviting delegates to submit poster presentations to be displayed throughout the conference. It’s an opportunity for you to share your work and discuss service improvement and development with your colleagues from across the UK.
Space is limited, so if you’d like to submit a poster for consideration, please tick the relevant box when you register for the conference. We’ll then contact you with all poster specifications, submission guidelines and key deadlines.
Look out for conference registration details in next month’s Mac Mail.
Invitation to apply for PhD scholarships
The School of Health and Social Sciences at London South Bank University is offering four full-time, fully-funded PhD scholarships beginning in September 2015. The scholarships cover all fees and include an annual stipend of £15,000 for three years.
Research proposals are invited in the following areas:
Dignity and care of older people
Mental health nursing
Pain in children
Children and young people cancer care
Big data in health and social care
To apply, please submit this form by Tuesday 1 September. If you have any questions about the scholarships in the meantime, you can email Professor Nicola Crichton.
What will you do for World’s Biggest Coffee Morning on 25 September?
September’s just a few weeks away, which means World’s Biggest Coffee Morning is around the corner. We need your help to make the 25th year of World’s Biggest Coffee Morning our most successful to date.
As well as being our biggest fundraiser of the year, World’s Biggest Coffee Morning is a great opportunity for you to get out and raise awareness of your service for people affected by cancer – whether it’s through informal chats or more structured, educational talks. By taking ten minutes out of your day, you can connect with people in your community and let them know more about your service and the range of support available from Macmillan, including the resources on be.Macmillan and the online community.
And if you can’t find a Coffee Morning near you, why not get together with your colleagues and host your own? As well as boosting team spirit and promoting your service, you’ll be helping us raise as much money as possible. Visit the World’s Biggest Coffee Morning website for more information.
Book now for our exclusive Alumni event
If you’re a Macmillan Alumni or are approaching the end of your Macmillan post, we’d love for you to join us at our first national Alumni event next month. Come for dinner at the Portland Hotel, Manchester, on the evening of Wednesday 9 September, followed by a day of networking and workshops on Thursday 10 September, 9.30am–4.30pm.
If you’re already an Alumni member, you can book your place now and register for workshops online. Choose from a range of insightful sessions such as Emotional Wellbeing, Making an Impact, Measuring the Impact of your Work, Coaching and Mentoring, and other opportunities for Alumni members. Visit the website for more information.
If you aren’t yet a member, simply get in touch or register your details on the Alumni website. And if you have a colleague who has left or is about to leave their Macmillan post, please tell them about the Alumni network and event too. We look forward to seeing you there.
Tips for friends and family from The Source
It can be hard for family and friends to know what to say or do to support someone with cancer, which is why we’ve developed The Source. This tip-sharing website features useful suggestions on simple, practical ways that family and friends can reach out.
The Source is a part of our Not Alone campaign, which we’ve developed by taking on board the feedback we’ve had from people affected by cancer, and from health and social care professionals. Please help us encourage use of the The Source by telling the people you support and their support circle about it.
National Acute Oncology Conference
We would like to invite you to attend the first National Acute Oncology Conference run by Macmillan Cancer Support on 19 October at the Holiday Inn Birmingham Airport. It will provide an opportunity to network, gain insight and discuss Acute Oncology services across the country.
You can also submit a poster presentation to showcase your work, topics can include:
improved ways of working
work relating to innovations in the delivery of diagnostics services and treatment
acute oncology education and training.
Please submit your application by 28 August, or contact Stacey Crocker if you would like to register to attend the conference, or for further details of the content, please email the events team.
Job opportunities at Macmillan
Do you feel like it’s time for a new challenge, or just a change? Then perhaps one of these opportunities at Macmillan’s offices around the UK will appeal to you.
Breast Cancer Awareness Month
National Acute Oncology Conference (19 October)
Lung & Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month
Macmillan Professionals Conference and excellence awards (11–12 November)
From booklets to posters, you can find information and materials for all cancer awareness months at be.Macmillan. To access the entire portfolio of professional materials, please remember to login.
Download your copy of the latest Policy Update.
Please share this page with your Macmillan and non-Macmillan colleagues to help us ensure as many professionals as possible are kept up to date about Macmillan’s work and helpful tools to help them in their work with people affected by cancer.