Sarcoma South UK Support Group Blog

Follow-up paper

Posted by Steve on Tuesday 23rd September

Clinical Oncology journal has published a paper titled

Comfort Blanket or Clinical Need? The Role of Follow-up for Cancer Survivors

detailing responses to this questionnaire devised by the Independent Cancer Patients' Voice and National Cancer Research Institute Consumer Liaison Group last February.

Having completed the questionnaire, I wrote to Sarcoma UK saying that

Q16 There is increasing evidence to suggest that regular routine follow-up is of little benefit to some cancer patients. Many are now being discharged back to GPs after their primary treatment (eg surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy), but with rapid access to appropriate healthcare professional if/when needed.

is worrying and not applicable to sarcoma patients. In a very informative response, Sarcoma UK agreed with me saying that the questionnaire is more applicable to breast cancer patients and reassured me that it wasn't applicable to sarcoma patients.

The paper has a section on GP follow-up and, whilst only 5% of patients had experience of this, nearly 50% say it isn't a good model. This response

I can't state strongly enough that I think this is not a good direction. General practitioners have little knowledge about cancer except the basics in my experience and it is frightening to think that this might be the way things go.

is precisely what I was thinking.

The paper is an interesting read and has no medical jargon so is easy to follow. A PDF download is available on the site which may be easier to read and print.


Importance of Clinical Nurse Specialists

Posted by Steve on Saturday 27th September

The Nursing Times has published the following quotes from the 2014 National Cancer Patient Experience Survey

... there were also plenty of encouraging results, with more patients than ever (89%) reporting they had been given the name of a clinical nurse specialist (CNS) – up from 88% the previous year and 84% in 2010.

Ninety-one per cent said their CNS “definitely” listened carefully to them when they last spoke and that they got understandable answers to questions all or most of the time.

A key finding overall was the importance that patients placed on having access to a specialist nurse.

“At all cancers level, and for each of the 13 tumour groups, the results showed that the factor with the strongest association with high patient scores in the survey was always the presence of a clinical nurse specialist,” said the report on the survey results.


2014 National Cancer Patient Experience Survey

Posted by Steve on Saturday 27th September

Some links:

2014 National Cancer Patient Experience Survey website

2014 National Cancer Patient Experience Survey National Report

Individual hospital trust reports for our region that surveyed sarcoma patients:

The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust

Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Trust

The surveys for Bournemouth and Southampton Hospitals didn't include responses from sarcoma patients.


Best Places to Work

Posted by Steve on Saturday 27th September

From the Health Service Journal’s Best Places to Work:

Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital Trust

• Full time permanent staff: 1,298 WTE

• Voluntary staff turnover: 14 per cent

• Exec team male/female ratio: 70 per cent male/ 30 per cent female

• Programme to recruit ethnic diverse staff: No

As its name suggests the trust specialises  in neuro-musculoskeletal care. It delivers  well on the training of its staff with 87 per  cent having received health and safety training, 77 per cent having equality and  diversity training and 88 per cent having been appraised in last 12 months. As the largest orthopaedic hospital in the UK, it plays an important role in teaching and training with over 20 per cent of orthopaedic  surgeons in the UK receiving their education at the trust.

The Royal Marsden Foundation Trust

• Full time permanent staff: 2,377

• Voluntary staff turnover: 12 per cent

• Exec team male/female ratio: 40 per cent male/60 per cent female

• Programme to recruit ethnic diverse staff: No

The Royal Marsden offers a free travel clinic and immunisation service to its staff and promotes a cycle to work scheme. Open meetings with the chief executive are held regularly and the trust runs a local employee of the month scheme.


Old Harry Rocks image (adapted) is © Copyright Eirian Evans and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.