Value to patients of a breast cancer clinical nurse specialist
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Value to patients of a breast cancer clinical nurse specialist

Harriet Hardie Breast cancer clinical nurse specialist, cancer services, University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Alison Leary Lead nurse, Lung cancer service, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust

Aim To compare patient experiences of the breast cancer nursing service before a clinical nurse specialist (CNS) was established in post and then one year after her appointment.

Method A questionnaire was handed out to 50 patients over a six-week period in May 2007 (pre-CNS survey) and one year later (post-CNS survey) to 32 of the original patients. Analysis was performed on the numerical data using Microsoft Excel. Content analysis was used to extract information from the free text.

Findings The evaluation showed that the CNS improved respondents’ experience and satisfaction with the breast cancer service. The pre-CNS survey highlighted that respondents wanted the CNS to be available after their consultation with the doctor to further explain information, and between clinic appointments to provide advice. Respondents also wanted the CNS to be a point of contact, to have specialist knowledge and to offer advice and support. The second survey showed that the CNS had improved the patient experience, and respondents were more satisfied with the service provided.

Conclusion This service evaluation supports the value of the CNS in improving patient experiences and developing services.

Nursing Standard. 24, 34, 42-47. doi: 10.7748/ns2010.


Peer review

This article has been subject to double blind peer review