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Double national recognition shows Cancer Patients and “Not Cancer” patients all get excellent care at LTH

Photo of celebrating staff membersLancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, the Cancer Centre for Lancashire and South Cumbria, is proud to have achieved their best ever scores for patient experience, as well as winning at the prestigious HSJ patient safety award for elective recovery – highly commended for patients who are referred on a cancer pathway.

The Rosemere Cancer Centre has always offered excellent patient care for those who are diagnosed and being treated for cancer, and this year the Trust has excelled itself, achieving the most positive results they have ever had in this national survey, published in July.  The overall Patient Experience score was a commendable 9/10, and with no scores below the national average, they are leading the way across the four local Trusts.

Anne Tomlinson, Lead Nurse Cancer & End of Life Care said: "I am delighted with the results of the recent National Cancer Patient Experience Survey - it is a testament to the care provided by our staff at the cancer centre here at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals.

“I am particularly proud that we have scored highly with regards to involving patients' relatives in their care and that the whole healthcare teams work well together. We will continue to work on improving experience and care for our cancer patients."

In addition, Lancashire Teaching Hospitals is also pioneering a dramatically different approach to cancer diagnostics, with their ‘Tell People Quickly That They Don’t have Cancer’ initiative recognised at the HSJ patient safety awards in September.

All patients on a cancer pathway feel at “day zero”, the day of referral, until they receive their results. The HSJ award recognises that the safest way to manage patients is to put them at the centre of their care. The colorectal team at LTH has recently embedded a new compassionate, patient-centred cancer diagnostic pathway, led by a team of expert nurses, Advanced Care Practitioners (ACPs), who put patients at the centre of decision making from their very first contact in a virtual clinic. This transformation and culture change programme has resulted in the Trust making the largest improvement nationally in 62-day performance targets.

97% of people referred on this colorectal pathway do not have cancer, but their symptoms are worrying. This award-winning pathway not only tells people quickly that they do not have cancer, but also confirms, gives advice and treats other conditions, avoiding the need for a GP to refer back into secondary care. This revolution joins up processes within secondary care and out to primary care, and improves the long waits experienced for those patients who are referred for cancer yet need to be treated for other conditions.

Forensic attention to the detail of patients’ needs, potential frailties and the context of their referral, plus hearing and acting upon their wishes, drives dramatic performance results.

A photo of the award certifaceWithin only 8 weeks the Trust improved from the worst position nationally, halved the size of the patient tracker list (PTL) and reduced the number waiting over 62 days by over 900 people.

Clinical staff are empowered to work in partnership with operational teams to ensure the changes are delivered at pace and are sustainable.  This Day Zero approach and methodology, incorporating redesigned diagnostic pathways, delivers improvements in faster and earlier diagnosis (stage 1 and 2), obvious improvement in the quality, experience, and outcomes for patients, all with the potential to make significant financial savings through putting patients right at the centre of their care.

The four provider collaborative Trusts are in the process of making this style of cancer diagnostic pathway accessible to all patients across Lancashire and South Cumbria.

Meanwhile, the Rosemere Cancer Education Hub’s biggest event of the year – their third annual cancer conference – was a great success when it was held in late September, with over 300 professionals attending either in person or via a live stream.

Each year, the conference has grown in popularity, with this year’s event in the Woodland Suite at Ribby Hall hosted by Blackpool Teaching Hospitals, with talks from their Trust’s Jessica Jones, Lead Cancer Nurse and Ian Arthur, Lead Cancer Clinician. 

The event far exceeded expectations, selling out within ten days of advertising, as over 160 people attended in person, with an additional 175 tuning in to a live stream.

The entire cancer workforce from the region, from all four local Trusts – LTH, Blackpool Teaching Hospitals, East Lancashire NHS Trust and University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay – and primary care are able to access this education event, which, in turn, benefits patients, with all staff across Lancashire and South Cumbria sharing and accessing the same education and updates.

Patient speakers were included on the agenda, as one skin cancer patient and one lung cancer patient told their stories of their diagnosis, while a number of speakers discussed access to tests and innovations, various pilots and projects, and new developments.

Lyndsay Wiggans, Cancer Education Manager, Lancashire Teaching Hospitals, said: “The annual cancer conference is the biggest event in our calendar, and we are delighted to be able to support this event every year. It is a fantastic opportunity for the Cancer Workforce across our region to come together and share all of the great things that have been happening across the four hospitals. Staff are able to network with colleagues, share learning and most importantly hear from our patient speakers about their cancer journey.”

A group photo of the staff members on a stage, all smiling and one of them holding the award certificate

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Chorley and South Ribble Hospital

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01257 261222

Royal Preston Hospital

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01772 716565

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