In response to the long term plan ambition to deliver more person-centred care to all, Greater Manchester Cancer successfully piloted the role of the Cancer Support Worker (CSW) in secondary care.
With 100+ CSWs embedded in cancer teams across GM, this new role supports delivery of elements of the NHS Comprehensive Model of Personalised Care for cancer patients, specifically personalised care and support planning and supported self-management. However, in order to truly deliver a comprehensive model and provide seamless personalised care to patients, there needs to be greater links between primary care / community services and secondary care, a concept that is very much supported by patients.
The time between a referral being made and receiving the first appointment is a difficult and anxiety inducing time for patients, and so having a dedicated role to support patients during this time will be an invaluable resource. The increasing number of cancer survivors has led to an increase in the number of people requiring follow-up care, monitoring and management. Therefore primary care has an important role in not only supporting early diagnosis and effective referral processes and pathways but also supporting people to live well with and beyond cancer.
All of the above will require additional capacity to implement for all patients and so this project proposes to pilot the role of the CSW working across primary and secondary care. They will sit within primary care networks and a tailored role will be developed in line with the PCN’s needs.
This project will provide a model for other life limiting conditions so that all patients with life limiting conditions have access to personalised care. The pilot will support future workforce models and explore the possibility of support workers working across life limiting conditions, where additional psycho-social care and support may be less available.
We are piloting 9 Cancer Care Coordinators in Primary Care across Bury, Oldham, Salford, Stockport, Tameside and Wigan over an 18 month period to see the impacts of the role in the delivery of seamless personalised care.