Thursday 19th September 2013
Wendy McPhee explains how a new programme will support men with prostate and testicular cancers in Northern Ireland.
In Northern Ireland in the past five years, approximately 350 men were diagnosed with testicular cancer and 3,000 with prostate cancer. Many men have told us they need support and information to get back to ‘normal’ life again after treatment.
One of the projects I have been involved in provides support for men in their local community after treatment has ended.
Northern Ireland’s Transforming Cancer Follow-Up (TCFU) programme seeks to implement a model of tailored follow-up for people affected by cancer. Working with the TCFU Project Manager for the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust, I’m supporting this programme as the Uro-Oncology Project Nurse.
Follow-up closer to home
Belfast City Hospital hosts a specialist tertiary centre for the treatment and surveillance of men with testicular cancer from all parts of Northern Ireland. Men with prostate cancer attend Belfast City Hospital for radical treatment, and receive follow-up in their local cancer unit.
During a pilot study last year of nurseled H&WB events in Belfast for men with testicular cancer, it became clear these events needed to be ‘closer to home’, particularly in rural and socially deprived areas. This would ensure men have equal access to services tailored to their needs to help them create a ‘new normality’ after treatment.
Putting patients first
Thanks to a successful application to the Foundation of Nursing Studies’ (FoNS) Patients First: Supporting Nurse-led Innovation in Practice programme, a project team has been established to hold H&WB events for men with testicular cancer at four venues across Northern Ireland. As part of the FoNS programme, I benefit from working with an experienced FoNS practice development facilitator, take part in learning and development workshops, and have access to a £5,000 bursary that I can use to organise events.
The H&WB events focus on introducing patients and carers to a range of services that can help with their physical, emotional, social and financial needs by:
- giving information about cancer recurrence, treatment side effects, self-management and lifestyle
- offering an opportunity to talk to health and social care professionals
- signposting to local services and resources - clinical and non-clinical.
Patient, carer and health professional surveys are used at all events to evaluate their effectiveness and shape future events.
In November 2012, I organised the first conference for men treated radically for prostate cancer (a Patient and Public Involvement initiative), funded by Macmillan as part of my post. The event featured presentations from specialists and patients on all aspects of survivorship. It also gave men and their partners the opportunity to share their experiences.
A working group has been set up to organise this year’s conference and health talks for male staff.
Email Wendy McPhee, Macmillan Uro-Oncology Project Nurse, Belfast City Hospital.
Other articles about Northern Ireland from this issue of Mac Voice
Empowering carers - A project in Northern Ireland's Southern Health and Social Care Trust area is supporting carers of people with cancer.
Survivorship - How a survivorship programme of work has benefited people across the country.
Urological cancer follow-up - Looking at a new programme supporting men with prostate and testicular cancers.
Bereavement support - Supporting people bereaved by cancer through a partnership with Cruse Bereavement Care.
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