A new project is set to transform the lives of cancer patients living on the Fylde coast.
People receiving cancer treatment will benefit from the ‘Living With and Beyond Cancer’ (LWBC) initiative.
Led by Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Blackpool Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Fylde and Wyre CCG, the project is being implemented in partnership with Macmillan Cancer Support.
Jessica Jones, Macmillan Clinical Transformation Lead for the Trust, said: “It is great news that more people are living longer and surviving cancer but unfortunately not everyone with cancer is living well.
“Patients and their carers can struggle with trying to get the information and support they need. Many have problems with the after effects of cancer and have difficulties in getting back to work.
“Our aim is to make sure patients know who to contact should they have any problems and where to get the help and information they need to live a healthier lifestyle.”
Jessica, who has worked for the Trust since 2003, took on her new role with the Trust in May.
The post is funded by Macmillan Cancer Support. The LWBC project aims to provide support for patients from the point of diagnosis by redesigning follow-up care to help patients take back control of their lives.
Jessica explained: “My role involves implementing new initiatives to transform the care of patients living with and beyond cancer within Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre.
“One of the objectives of the programme is to implement a ‘recovery package’ across all tumour groups. The recovery package is a set of key interventions, which when delivered together at end of treatment, can improve the outcomes and co-ordination of care for cancer patients.
“The aim of the recovery package is to give patients concrete steps to take as they get back to normal after cancer treatment and to ensure patients can find out where to get help if needed.
“The recovery package incorporates making sure patients are offered a ‘holistic needs assessment’ and an ‘end of treatment summary’. A holistic assessment provides patients with the opportunity to think through their needs and, together with a health care professional, to make a plan about how best to meet these needs.
“We will also offer patients the opportunity to attend health and wellbeing events where they can get information and support to be independent and live healthier lifestyles.
“Another part of my role is to work with the clinical teams to set up something called ‘risk stratified pathways’ for follow up care.
“This involves replacing a one size fits all approach with a more individually tailored and patient‑centred service.
“It will enable low risk patients to self-manage their care and take back control. Patients will have rapid access back into the specialist team should this be needed.”
Jessica has been networking and has visited several other Trusts which have implemented living with and beyond cancer initiatives.
She added: “I have been learning from them and have seen how the recovery package and risk stratified pathways benefit patients requiring cancer follow-up.
“Patients feel well supported and report having an improved self-confidence and more control over their situation.”
Macmillan is also funding a Cancer Care Co-ordinator post and a Service User Facilitator post in the near future.
If you require further information on the LWBC programme please email: LWBC@bfwhospitals.nhs.uk