Thursday 19th September 2013
A pilot project in Barnsley is offering people who have undergone surgery for colorectal cancer a unique level of support, over the telephone. The service aims to improve quality of life by supporting healthy lifestyles, as well as providing advice and information.
The service is provided by South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust’s care navigation service, working in partnership with Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust’s colorectal cancer specialist nurses.
The colorectal cancer nurse specialists use their service’s enhanced recovery programme to identify patients discharged after surgery who have a long-term condition and are suitable for a supported self-managing pathway.
These patients are then offered a series of telephone consultations, undertaken by general trained nurses known as nurse care navigators. The nurse care navigators are trained in delivering motivational interviewing to people with a range of long-term conditions, educating them to better manage their condition and encouraging them to make positive health behaviour changes.
Nurse care navigators come from a range of nursing backgrounds and are not specialists in cancer care, but they have received training in colorectal/stoma care from the specialist nurses.
‘Cancer survivors may suffer from a range of psychosocial and physical problems, including depression and anxiety, lowered self-esteem and body image, fatigue, pain, nausea, reduced cardiovascular and pulmonary function, and muscle weakness,’ explains Paul Hughes, Care Navigation Service Lead.
‘Our care navigation service provides information, advice, and focuses on a person’s well-being - which changes the relationship between patients and care providers. The service empowers individuals to maintain and improve their own health, rather than focusing on the specific illness.’
When an individual first accesses the service, a holistic self-assessment tool is used to identify their needs and requirements. The individual will then receive a minimum of six planned calls over three to five months. The tool will be completed again at the end of the pathway to see whether participants feel any improvement in their ability to manage their condition.
It is expected that the pilot will enable people to:
- experience improved quality of life, health and well-being, and be more independent
- feel supported and empowered to manage their own care
- have active involvement in decisions about their care and support
- have access to high quality health and social care services to support their individual needs.
The pilot is also intended to:
- reduce the need for face-to-face follow-up contacts with healthcare professionals
- provide a potential reduction in recurrence as a result of healthier lifestyles being followed.
‘The pilot provides the opportunity for clinicians from both acute and community healthcare providers in Barnsley to develop the patient pathway,’ says Jane Parker, one of the colorectal cancer nurse specialists who has recommended patients for the service. ‘It has also enabled community-based staff to undertake our training on the enhanced recovery programme and stoma care.’
The two-year pilot runs until July 2014 and feedback will be published the following autumn.
You can view a patient’s experience of accessing the service by visiting the Barnsley Care Navigation and Telehealth Service website.
To find out more, email Paul Hughes, or email Jane Parker.
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