Nicola Stubbs, Senior Macmillan Clinical Nurse Specialist in Breast Care
We are very passionate about delivering high quality care for people affected by breast cancer at Wythenshawe, Trafford, Withington and Altrincham. We have implemented a model of breast aftercare to improve care quality and empower patients to take ownership of their own follow up. This work was developed after a successful and national award winning 12 month project.
Cancer survivorship is at its highest, resulting in traditional follow up for breast cancer patients not being appropriate for all. Added pressures and over-burdened clinics result in over anxious patients and individual needs not being met. This model of aftercare was developed to implement the personalised care interventions for cancer providing patients with a 60 minute nurse-led treatment summary appointment at the end of their active treatment. All elements of diagnosis, surgery, treatments are discussed including short and long-term expected side effects and how to try and improve/move forward.
We discuss potential signs of recurrence and what to do if they are concerned. This model means the patient will not be seen routinely by a clinician until discharge unless a concern is brought to the attention of the Breast Care Nurse thus it is important the patient has full understanding. The patient has rapid access back into a consultant clinic if it is felt assessment is necessary.
A holistic needs assessment is completed to assist the nurse in prioritising unmet needs and concerns, in turn creating a care plan, which is also shared with primary care to inform a cancer care review.
We also deliver health promotion at this treatment summary appointment, patients are invited and encouraged to attend a breast health and well-being event and the schedule of surveillance mammograms explained.
Service users have been integral to our service transformation and their feedback has underpinned all changes. We sort their opinion on many issues from patient literature, satisfaction questionnaires and they were invited to regular focus groups. We set up a specific service user focus group to aid in creating the new programme for the breast health and wellbeing event and we continue to shape and evolve this based on user feedback at events.
We are tremendously proud of the follow up care we provide and as a nurse I personally get job satisfaction that I can deliver such patient care.
This model is now being rolled out across the rest of Greater Manchester through the GM Cancer Transforming Aftercare project ensuring this much improved method of follow-up is available to all appropriate patients.
Find out more:
If you require any further information please contact the Breast Moving On team
The Nightingale unit
0161 291 4460