Service improvement excellence award

This category rewards three winners who’ve developed integrated services which have greatly improved the experiences of people affected by cancer.

Two women and a man sit talking around a table, one woman is in nurses uniform

2017 Service Improvement Excellence Award Finalists – Thank You

2017 Service Improvement Excellence Award Finalists – Thank You

Breast CNS Teams across City of Manchester, Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust and South Manchester University Hospitals Trust

By working in partnership, the breast CNS teams of the Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust and the South Manchester University Hospitals Trust have transformed aftercare for women with breast cancer across Manchester. They have designed a patient-centred pathway that is consistent, embeds all the elements of the Recovery Package, and eliminates unnecessary routine hospital appointments.

One of the key components of the new pathway is a 45-minute nurse-led ‘Moving On’ appointment. Not only does it address holistic needs, it also helps prepare people for supported self-management. Alongside the team’s four dedicated nurses, two aftercare coordinators work tirelessly to ensure the needs of every patient are met.

‘Patients can spend as much time as they need to go through how they are feeling at their Moving On appointment,’ says Macmillan Senior Specialist Breast Care Nurse, Fiona O’Regan. ‘And, to elicit their concerns, they have a holistic needs assessment – we can then signpost them to appropriate support. We also let them know that they can contact us at any time, so the support continues.

‘You can see that patients really appreciate the time we spend with them’, adds Breast CNS, Amanda Snippe. ‘You can see relief on their faces because they understand their results and they know that they’ve been listened to. It empowers them to move forwards.’

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


NHS Lothian and Macmillan Cancer of the Unknown Primary Team, Edinburgh Cancer Centre, NHS Lothian

The NHS Lothian and Macmillan Cancer of the Unknown Primary Team offers a vital service that’s the first of its kind in Scotland. Passionate about delivering equity of care to the highly disadvantaged group of patients with metastatic cancer from an unknown primary, the team have gone above and beyond to improve patient care. What’s more, by reducing the length of time people have to spend in hospital and reducing the number of invasive investigations they have to undergo, the service has resulted in cost savings too.

‘Patients with cancer of the unknown primary are a complex group with a very short life expectancy,’ explains Consultant Nurse, Gillian Knowles. ‘Traditionally, they have fallen outside of site-specific teams and they’ve had no specific referral process, no MDT and no single point of contact. We set up our service to provide the same quality of care to these patients as we would to patients with specific kinds of cancer. We’ve set up a diagnostic pathway, MDT meetings and a weekly clinic for medical consultants to assess our patients. On top of this, we make sure every patient has access to nursing support.’

‘Our patients are in very difficult situations but, through our service, we are trying to make their experiences the best they can be.’

If you would like to find out more about the teams work please email Fiona Sneddon, Partnership Quality Lead.


Macmillan Nottingham Cancer Support Service, Nottingham CityCare Partnership

The Macmillan Nottingham Cancer Support Service was developed to offer vital cancer support in the community. Working alongside a specialist needs service, the team of two clinical nurse specialists and two assistant practitioners offers an array of practical, emotional and financial support, all underpinned by their motto, ‘What can we influence and what can we add?’

By embedding the Recovery Package within the community, the team has improved people’s quality of life significantly. They signpost service users to the right support at the right time, help people navigate the healthcare system, and reduce unnecessary GP appointments and hospital admissions. With a 64% increase in people being able to access Macmillan support in Nottingham as a result of the service, they have a lot to be proud about.

‘We’re moving services from the acute sector into the community because that’s the right place for people,’ explains Abigail Powell, the project lead. ‘Any healthcare professional in Nottingham can refer to our service. We then call the person with cancer, assess their needs and ask them whether they’d like us to visit them or to provide support over the phone. By constantly checking in on people, we can meet their ongoing needs as well as easing the burden on district nurses, hospitals and CNSs.’

If you would like to find out more about the team’s work please email Susan Sanderson, Partnership Manager.