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My role was established because Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust needed a nurse working in adult oncology to help implement the teenage and young adults improving outcomes guidance. Paring this position with a focus on lymphoma was thought to be a suitable combination because lymphoma is one of the most common forms of cancer for teenagers and young adults.
I work closely with teams managing young people with cancer in adult and paediatric services to ensure their supportive care is well-managed within the resources available.
Covering a population of around 600,000, we see between 12 and 14 teenage and young adults (TYA) diagnosed with cancer each year - small numbers with complex needs.
I have to prioritise my work to fulfil both roles, which is often quite a challenge. All young people are offered psycho-social support by the TYA Clic Sargent team, and their cases are reviewed at the principle treatment centre’s TYA multidisciplinary team meeting. I make sure there is prompt communication from the time of malignancy suspicion to diagnosis to prevent delay of treatment if transfer of care is necessary.
Prior to this role, I was a head and neck oncology CNS for eight years, and before that, an NHS school nurse covering everything from assessments, child protection and health education. I have worked extensively with and studied the health needs and development of children and the TYA age group.
1. National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence. Improving Outcomes in Children and Young People with Cancer|. 2005
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