An audit of levels of psychological support referrals for cancer patients
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An audit of levels of psychological support referrals for cancer patients

Michele Pengelly Cancer Care Cymru specialist nurse (supportive care), Cancer Care Cymru/Velindre NHS Trust, Cardiff
Diana Purnell Clinical sister, Velindre NHS Trust, Cardiff

There is a wealth of literature concerning the psychological care of patients with cancer but little regarding its delivery and implementation. This retrospective audit reviewed the care of cancer patients (n=50) admitted to a 65-bed inpatient acute oncology unit who were referred to the liaison psychiatry team for mental health assessment. The audit covered a five-year time span and focused on ‘Key recommendation 9’ of National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE 2004) guidance that proposed a four-level model of professional psychological assessment and intervention. The audit highlighted underprovision of and too few adequately trained professionals providing level three psychological care interventions at the inpatient unit as well as poor documentation of psychological assessments. Areas of good practice included prompt referrals to supportive care services, consistent follow-up and safe discharge systems.

Cancer Nursing Practice. 8, 1,34-38. doi: 10.7748/cnp2009.02.8.1.34.c6840

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