The Macmillan Head and Neck Oncology Speech and Language Therapy Team have designed a reliable and exemplary service that manages one of the heaviest caseloads in the country. By using a predictive model to identify patients at risk of swallowing difficulties before radiotherapy treatment begins, the team are significantly reducing hospital admissions. Their proactive approach involves offering education, therapy and exercises to patients in order to improve their outcomes. What’s more, the new model is a shining example of using resources effectively and responsively.
‘Before this service, patients often weren’t being reached until they’d hit crisis point, but now we’re preventing that from happening,’ says Emma Taylor, who leads the team. ‘We’re reducing our patients’ struggles with eating and drinking, and we’re helping them to stay at home and be as well as possible.’
‘The feedback we get from patients is always really positive,’ adds team member Olivia Clarke. ‘They tell us that everything is done really quickly, they don’t have to wait, and our service is joined up with our colleagues, from consultants to dietitians to nurses. What’s more, patients know that we’re just a phone call away.’
If you would like to find out more about the team’s work please email Katie Pierce, Partnership Quality Lead.