Development, integration and evaluation of nurse-led follow-up across five tumour sites at a cancer unit in Northern Ireland
evidence and practice    

Development, integration and evaluation of nurse-led follow-up across five tumour sites at a cancer unit in Northern Ireland

Cherith Semple Macmillan head and neck clinical nurse specialist/honorary research fellow, South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust, Cancer Services, Ulster Hospital/Ulster University, Institute of Nursing and Health Research, Belfast, Northern Ireland
Caroline Lynas Macmillan service improvement lead, South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust, Belfast, Northern Ireland

The traditional model of medical oncology follow-up clinics has been challenged in recent years, partly because it cannot meet the individual needs of the growing cancer survivor population. Greater personalisation of follow-up care is required to manage cancer survivors’ clinical, psychosocial and practical care, and many organisations are attempting to achieve this through nurse-led follow-up services. This article describes a service-development project in a cancer unit in Northern Ireland that developed, integrated and evaluated nurse-led follow-up clinics for five tumour groups. Evaluation was undertaken through a focus group and surveys, and the article discusses the findings that suggest successful integration of nurse-led clinics requires comprehensive planning and preparation, including professional development and risk stratification of patients, and that nurse-led clinics enhance continuity of care and promote patient empowerment and self-management strategies. The article concludes that nurses can deliver cancer follow-up services effectively and are well placed to provide comprehensive survivorship care for patients.

Cancer Nursing Practice. doi: 10.7748/cnp.2018.e1460

Citation

Semple C, Lynas C (2018) Development, integration and evaluation of nurse-led follow-up across five tumour sites at a cancer unit in Northern Ireland. Cancer Nursing Practice. doi: 10.7748/cnp.2018.e1460

Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software

Correspondence

Cherith.Semple@setrust.hscni.net

Conflict of interest

None declared

Acknowledgements

We would like to thank clinical nurse specialists Martina Finn, Joanne Ogburn, Patricia Thompson and Paula Dempster at South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust, who were integral to this service redesign and evaluation. We would also like to thank Moyra Mills for facilitating the focus group, and the staff of the trust’s safe and effective care department for administering the questionnaires and collating the findings

Published online: 30 April 2018

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