A185: A novel way of pre assessment for patients undergoing chemotherapy can increase capacity and improve waiting times for cancer patients
1Shrewsbury and Telford NHS Trust, Shrewsbury,Shropshire, UK
Cancer waiting time targets ensure improved outcomes. National guidelines require all subsequent treatments to commence within 31 days of decision to treat. Chemotherapy capacity can be a significant issue to achieving timely start to treatment.
We describe a novel way to increase chemotherapy capacity through use of a volunteer team to support group pre assessment.
Group pre assessment clinics were established 1 year ago. The team of chemotherapy nurses established pre assessment clinics 3 times a week which includes a group of patients in a shared environment receiving general chemotherapy information. This is followed by individual sessions with a treating nurse.
The group pre assessment is supported by a team of volunteers including a former BBC camera man who has filmed a DVD featuring our CDC nurses. Volunteers offer a tour of the CDC unit and the assessment clinics are run away from the unit to release chair space.
Data was collected on nursing time released to provide for chemotherapy administration.
Over 1 year, Jan- Dec 2014 total patients seen n= 549
Previously this would have involved each patient receiving a pre assessment for 1 hour equating to 549 hours nursing time using a chemotherapy treatment chair in the department.
Currently 3 group pre assessment clinics are held with 5 patients in each clinic. Each session is 2.5 hours. This equates to 7.5 hours nursing time a week.
In total over the year this represents 337.5 hours nursing time with a saving of 211.5 hours released to increase chemotherapy capacity.
This novel pre assessment clinic with volunteer support has provided increased capacity to support timely access to chemotherapy in our centre. We believe this provides a unique way of increasing capacity in busy departments and should be developed as a standard model of working.