Wednesday 25th February 2015
Around 2,500 young people are diagnosed with cancer in the UK every year, but we are currently only able to reach half of them. In some areas of the UK, young people may not know that Teenage Cancer Trust services are available to them, and in others, they might live far away from a unit and receive their treatment in a local hospital where staff are unable to offer appropriate care for their age group.
Our pilot research
In the last year we have been piloting a new service in the North West of England, in the Principal Treatment Centre (The Christie Hospital) and 18 designated hospitals across the region.
A range of specialist staff were put in place to support young people wherever they were treated, both at hospital and at home. These staff included one Lead Nurse, two Clinical Nurse Specialists, two Youth Support Coordinators and a Multi-disciplinary Team Coordinator.
It works: we reached all young people in the region
Thanks to research carried out by the Centre for Children and Families Research at Coventry University on our pilot project, we found that:
- we reached close to 100% of all young people newly diagnosed in the region
- the new service was highly valued by patients, families and professionals working across the region
- the service model increased collaboration between hospitals and entirely changed the culture and understanding of young people’s support and care needs.
Andrew Fishburn, Clinical Nurse Specialist for Head & Neck at the Royal Preston Hospital said:
A Teenage Cancer Trust nurse has seamlessly become an invaluable part of our team, working across professional, organisational and geographical boundaries with ease. She places the patient at the centre of everything she does, meeting difficult and complex challenges with creative solutions and enthusiasm. She’s made a huge difference to our young patients.
Over the coming years we will be working with hospitals and regions across the whole of the UK to roll out our service, giving real control back to young people with cancer to choose how and where they want to be treated. We are already working to raise the £80 million we estimate we will need to make this happen over the next five years, whilst maintaining our current services.