Friday 7th September 2012
Clinical update day
Valerie Proctor, Cancer Information Nurse Specialist, on running a successful clinical update day.
Professionals working on the Macmillan Support Line, in Macmillan Mobile Information and Support Services, and information centres, share the common need to keep up-to-date with the latest cancer research and developments.
Following some informal conversations among the group about how best to meet this need, the idea of a joint, clinical update day was explored. We successfully applied for Macmillan funding and booked an excellent, centrally located venue, which provided all the comforts and resources we needed.
Delegates were asked what they would like included on the programme, and topics were chosen based on development needs, and questions that are commonly asked by people using the services represented. We ended up with a full day of updates on breast, haematology and prostate cancers.
We approached speakers who were known to staff or who had spoken at conferences and study days we had attended in the past. All were experts in their fields and included clinical nurse specialists from Breast Cancer Care, the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, St Bartholomew’s and the London NHS Trust, and a Macmillan information and support radiographer from University College London Hospitals.Following each session there was an opportunity for questions and discussion.
A key part of the day was to provide space and time for delegates to learn more about each others’ roles. As well as the opportunity to do this informally over coffee and lunch breaks, there was a presentation from the Macmillan Support Line nurses and a Macmillan information centre manager. A healthy discussion followed, with professionals sharing the opportunities and challenges of their roles.
The day was a wonderful opportunity to bring together professionals from a variety of direct and indirect services, providing a unique opportunity for networking and shared learning. These benefits were reflected in feedback from the delegates, who all evaluated the day as good or excellent.
Everyone felt the day should be repeated and plans have already begun to secure funding and a venue so that information professionals can continue to access the high-quality information they need to support them in their roles. It is hoped that this model of shared learning can be replicated in Macmillan’s Glasgow office, where other Macmillan Support Line nurses are based.