A female radiographer

Late effects and special interest group Somerset

Published: 12 October 2021

In this blog, Dr Lisa Durrant talks us through how her team worked to improve the service for patients experiencing late effects from radiotherapy.

Dr Lisa Durrant Macmillan Consultant Radiographer, Somerset NHS Foundation Trust

The problems

  • Previously there were information and support groups for radiographers seeing people during treatment, but nothing for post treatment.
  • Patients were bouncing between primary and secondary care having pointless tests and getting no diagnosis.
  • Allied Health Professional roles were quite isolated and there was minimal guidance and protocols.

The initiative

This initiative was split into 2 areas to assist patients as well as Allied Healthcare Professionals.
  • Late effects service – this was originally funded by Macmillan, set up to support patients manage their symptoms post treatment. The aim was to improve the service.
  • Chairs special interest group - gives healthcare professionals working in post radiotherapy treatment a support network. Allied Health Professionals can share experiences and discuss setting up similar services in their area.


What we did

Late effects service

  • Helped patients to manage symptoms and access services that they wouldn’t normally be able to access.
  • Questionnaires about bowel symptoms were taken at the start and end of treatment.

Special interest group

  • Professionals networked and shared information.

Impact and outcomes

Late effects service

  • Patients aren’t having to repeat their story every time.
  • Symptoms are managed and unnecessary appointments are prevented.
  • Improved quality of life for patients.

Special interest group

  • The special interest group has now grown to 100 people.
  • Knowledge sharing has allowed professionals to improve on care and patient outcomes.

Future aims

  • To gather more data once the regional service has been set up.
  • Radiographer in each centre will develop a proper post treatment service which started in September 2022.

Find out more


You can contact the team by emailing Lisa Durrant at Lisa.Durrant@SomersetFT.nhs.uk

Lisa can be found on Twitter at @DrLisaDurrant.

Read more allied healthcare professional initiatives

Supporting your role