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North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust - 70 years of the NHS


Home > News > New acute oncology nursing teams for North Cumbria's hospitals

New acute oncology nursing teams for North Cumbria's hospitals

Posted on Wednesday 23rd October 2013
oncology nursing team wch

the acute oncology nursing team at West Cumberland Hospital, Whitehaven

North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust is working to improve the experience for cancer patients being admitted as an emergency by launching new acute oncology nursing teams at both the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle and West Cumberland Hospital in Whitehaven.

From Monday 21 October in Carlisle and Monday 28 October in Whitehaven, this new service will be provided by the existing chemotherapy nurses. They will work closely with the teams admitting the patients by providing advice and support when cancer patients are admitted to A&E or the Emergency Admissions Unit (EAU).

A flagging system has been put in place which will inform staff in A&E and EAU that a patient is one of the Trust’s cancer patients. The acute oncology nursing team will be contacted and visit the clinical area to assist the team with the management of the patient, also providing reassurance and a familiar face for the patient and family. The Trust is also in the process of commissioning an alert system for the oncology nurses which will automatically send a text to the nurses’ mobile phone when one of their patients is admitted and speed up the review process.

Outpatient appointments to see oncology specialists have been allocated for urgent patient referrals from this service.

This new initiative is led by Helen Roe, consultant cancer nurse and has been made possible with the introduction of an additional four trainee chemotherapy nurses across the Trust. The service will initially be available Monday to Friday, 9.00am-5.00pm and will be extended according to patient and service need.

Helen said: “From the patient’s point of view, the new service will streamline their care, improve communication between clinical teams involved in their care and ultimately reduce their length of stay in hospital. It will also offer continuity of care and reassurance as the nurse is from the existing chemotherapy team and will be a familiar face for the patient.

“We are very pleased to be launching the service at both of our hospitals – this is beneficial for our patients, our Trust and for nursing.”