Innovation Excellence Award 2016

This category celebrates the three winners whose vision and commitment has made a lasting difference to the quality of services offered to people affected by cancer.

Radiotherapy Late Effects Team (RTLE), Nottingham University Hospital

The RTLE service in Nottingham is changing lives for people suffering the late effects of radiotherapy. Run by Macmillan Radiotherapy Information and Support Radiographers Emma Hallam and Liz Stones and Consultant Clinical Oncologist Dr Judy Christian, the service taps into existing expertise and makes it accessible to all. In order to provide a holistic service for their patients at their weekly clinic, the team trained in a range of new skills such mindfulness, sexual dysfunction and simple lymphatic massage.

‘We began by knocking on doors asking for help,’ says Emma. ‘We discovered so many useful services within the Trust. For example, there was a very useful Pain Acceptance clinic that we never knew existed.’

‘People feel reassured because we understand radiotherapy. We can’t always get rid of every side effect, but an understanding ear can make all the difference. People say we’ve given them the motivation to carry on.’

If you would like to find out more about team’s work please email Partnership Quality Leads, Elaine Wilson and Max Astley-Pepper.

Acute Diagnostic Oncology Clinic Service (ADOC), Chelsea and Westminster Hospital and West Middlesex University Hospital

ADOC is an innovative new diagnostic pathway for patients with suspected cancer who are too unwell to wait the standard two weeks following GP referral. It aims to reduce the number of new cancer presentations through acute medical services. The nurse-led clinic aims to see patients within 24 hours, provide faster access to diagnostic tests, resulting in faster diagnosis (on average within 7 days) and earlier treatment.

‘We’ve seen 98% of patients within 24 hours of referral – some on the same day of referral,’ says Macmillan Clinical Nurse Specialist in Acute Oncology Rachel Sharkey. ‘Our patients are understandably very anxious. We provide support throughout their visit and follow-up appointments so there is continuity throughout.’

‘It’s been enormously rewarding to prove that the pathway can be compressed for this group of patients, from referral to treatment, using current resources but by working differently,’ adds Project Manager Jo Simmons.

If you would like to find out more about the team’s work please email Partnership Quality Lead, Sheila Small.

Johanne Vass, Macmillan Sarcoma Advanced Nurse Practioner, Abertawe Bro Morgannwg Health Board

Johanne is a Macmillan Sarcoma Advanced Nurse Practitioner based in Swansea, South West Wales Cancer Centre. She has combined her specialist advanced clinical skills with her passion to achieve clinical excellence to establish an innovative nurse-led rapid access clinic for patients with suspected soft tissue sarcoma. Not only has the service improved the referral and treatment pathways for patients, but it’s also removed the need for any unnecessary interventions and freed-up consultant time.

‘It’s great to be able to identify areas for improvement and to be able to make those improvements off my own bat,’ says Johanne. ‘It’s really rewarding knowing that we’ve created something that allows me to provide patients with swift access to the right services.’

If you would like to find out more about the team’s work please email Partnership Quality Lead, Alun Tundy.