Northamptonshire has been awarded £750,000 from NHS England’s Cancer Transformation Fund for 2019/20 to support a variety of programmes to improve cancer care and outcomes.
As well as helping to fund rapid early diagnosis, new bowel cancer testing in GP practices and improving uptake of cancer screening, the money will go towards providing personalised follow-up care for people living with cancer.
The ‘Living with Cancer’ programme supports the work of the Macmillan Cancer Recovery Package (CRP) team and focuses on the following four key elements:
- Holistic Needs Assessment and Care Plan – this enables the person living with cancer to identify their physical, emotional and social needs and offers them a range of health and wellbeing options to meet those needs. The number of people benefiting from this service in Northamptonshire has steadily risen since the local CRP team was established and the aim is to increase access further.
- Treatment Summaries – the person living with cancer and their GP will receive a summary of care after each phase of treatment, helping them to understand what has happened, potential symptoms and after-effects and who to contact for further support. A county-wide approach to treatment summaries has now been adopted and the CRP team will work with individual multi-disciplinary teams to roll these out in line with the programme plan.
- Health and Wellbeing – providing good information and advice for people living with cancer is crucial to ensure they feel supported throughout their journey. A local education programme has been developed with both patients and professionals, providing advice about treatment as well as information about work, finance, health lifestyles and physical activity. The first Northamptonshire Wellbeing Programme event takes place in September and work is in progress to ensure as many people as possible can access the service.
- Cancer Care Reviews – these usually take place within six months of diagnosis and enable
people living with cancer to talk to their GP about their experiences and what further
support might be available to them. Work is due to start later this year on developing a
county-wide approach following the recruitment of a Macmillan GP.
The work of the Living With Cancer programme has initially focused on three priority cancers – breast, colorectal and prostate – but it will also support progress in other areas where possible. For further information about Living With Cancer contact firstname.lastname@example.org.