Tenovus Cancer Callback: With Welsh cancer patients every step of the way


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Louise Jenkins1, Dianne Harding1, Uta Preece1, Tara Day1, Jane Bridgeman1, Rachel Iredale1
1Tenovus, Cardiff, UK

Background

Tenovus is Wales' largest cancer charity providing support services all over the Principality. In Tenovus we know that there is considerable demand by cancer patients for telephone support outside of conventional NHS Wales structures. A pilot project conducted with Velindre NHS Trust found the majority of patients were in favour of telephone follow-up, identifying it as an acceptable and positive experience.

Consequently Tenovus Cancer Callback is being delivered by a team of oncology nurses seconded from NHS Wales, with funding from the Burdett Trust for Nursing. It involves a series of proactive calls once a patient is registered with the scheme where information, advice and support are given.

Method

Contacting the patient within 7 days of registration the Callback Nurse:

  • provides clinical information and support about the cancer treatment(s), as well as practical, emotional and financial advice
  • allows patients the opportunity to raise any concerns regarding their illness and treatment
  • establishes a schedule of further callbacks
  • provides information about local psychosocial support services.

The project is being independently evaluated by the University of South Wales.

Results

Initial evaluation and feedback from the first six months of the project have been positive. It is widely acknowledged that patients undergoing treatment for cancer are often overwhelmed with the amount and complexity of information given to them and often fail to recall what they are being told.

Conclusion

One of the key outputs of the project is a model of good practice providing a callback service for patients receiving cancer treatments. Other anticipated outcomes include an improvement in care provided to cancer patients as a result from this partnership of healthcare professionals working across organisations. Finally, another outcome of this project is a genuine partnership between Tenovus, NHS Wales and the University Sector.