Monday 16th November 2015

Our Nursing & Support Service pilot project took 2 years to complete and provided independent, integrated specialist nursing and support to young people with cancer across the North West of England. The new Service based on the pilot will extend our vital work beyond our existing 28 units, taking care out to young people who want to receive support in their local hospitals.

Previously it was estimated that only 40-50% of young people with cancer were able to access specialist nursing support. The pilot team worked with the Principal Treatment Centre at The Christie NHS Foundation Trust in Manchester whilst also working with the 18 Designated Hospitals and primary and social care, across a wide geographical region of both urban and rural areas, including Greater Manchester, Cheshire, Lancashire and Cumbria. A range of specialist nursing and allied health professionals were put in place to support young people with cancer wherever they were treated, both at hospital and at home.

The pilot was independently evaluated by the Centre for Children and Families Research at Coventry University led by Professor Jane Coad, to make sure young people and families’ voices were at the heart of the research into how clinical care is provided and managed.

The evaluation found that:

  • The pilot service reached close to 100% of all young people newly diagnosed in the region
  • The new service is highly valued by patients, families and professionals working across the region
  • It increased collaboration between the hospitals and entirely changed the culture and understanding of young people’s support and care needs

Based upon the findings, over the coming years, we'll be working with hospitals and regions across the whole of the UK to roll out the new service, giving real control back to young people with cancer to choose how and where they want to be treated.

We're already working to raise the £80 million that we estimate we will need to make this happen over the next 5 years, whilst maintaining our current services.

Sam Smith, Head of Nursing and Clinical Services and project lead for the pilot at Teenage Cancer Trust, said:

We are immensely proud to win this award. We have seen a real cultural shift in approaches to teenage and young adult cancer care as a result of this model; this means more young people are receiving high quality specialist nursing support. For this to be recognised by the Nursing Times Awards is incredible. 

David Wright, Teenage Cancer Trust Lead Nurse, commented: “It is a real reflection of all the hard work that the project team have put in and, most importantly, of the positive difference that it has made for young people with cancer across the North West.”

Prior to the award HRH the Prince of Wales sent wishes to support and express his personal gratitude to the nursing profession through the addition of this special award this year. The award was created specifically to reflect HRH the Prince of Wales’s long commitment to holistic healthcare. The award sought to identify those nurses from the community or hospital sector who have joined forces with other organizations, such as those from the voluntary and/or third sector, to help promote public health and prevent disease and/or manage long-term conditions in a holistic and integrated way that improves patients’ quality of life and independence.