Cancer patients at Derriford Hospital are getting more personalised information about their condition and treatment thanks to a new project now being rolled out.
Derriford Hospital is a Beacon Site for implementing the National Cancer Information Prescriptions system. Information Prescriptions are designed to improve patient information delivery so that people affected by cancer receive information that is timely and relevant to them, to help them make decisions and to access support. The Information Prescriptions system (IPS) is a web based tool hosted by NHS CHOICES and found at www.nhs.uk/ips
Consultant Haematologist Wayne Thomas who is championing the work at Derriford said: “This is about personalising care so that patients are given the right information at the right time that is relevant to them. Cancer is not a uniform condition, it affects different people in different ways, there are different treatments and outcomes and this system allows us to give people information that is personal to them. At a time when they are often anxious and frightened this means we can select the right information for them, that is particular to their condition, their treatment and their likely effects. Patients tell us that is really important.”
Uro-Oncology Nurse Specialist Vanessa Wilcox tells us how this has worked for her:
“I am a prostate cancer nurse specialist and manage patients throughout their cancer journey. I have been involved in this pilot since 2009. I see patients at diagnosis and am involved in assisting them in their treatment decisions. I used to use literature provided from various cancer charities, along with locally written leaflets to inform patients about their diagnosis, treatments, outcomes and side effect. Despite the fact that these booklets were very good, they often contained generic information that wasn't applicable or appropriate to patients and I would have to 'adapt' the booklets by crossing out sections and asking patients to ignore them.
“Information Prescriptions enabled me to build my own information package for my patients which only contained the relevant information that was applicable to them. It ensured that they only concentrated on what was important to them as an individual.
Prostate cancer is a very personal condition and effects patients in different ways. Information Prescriptions enabled me to personalise the information given to them.
“Initially I printed off the information, but now I am using the live system, I email the Prescriptions to patients at home. They then have the choice of downloading the information themselves, or saving on their computers to refer to as they wish. Additional prescriptions can be emailed as patients progress throughout their cancer journey and their needs change.
“Patients have been very impressed and found the information very helpful, particularly at an extremely stressful time in their lives. The website is easy to navigate, efficient and very reliable. The Prescriptions are professionally constructed and delivered. There is also the option of documenting the information delivered in the patient notes which is an excellent audit tool and useful for Peer Review. Information Prescriptions have definitely improved the quality of information provided to my patients.”
The National Cancer Action Team and Macmillan Cancer Support have developed nationally validated cancer information pathways; these form the basis of the cancer information on the system. The information has been taken from charity partners such as Macmillan.
The information prescription system is now being looked at for use with patients who have long term conditions.
Learn and Share Event on 15 June
There is a Beacon Learn and Share event planned for 15th June at the Post Graduate Centre, Derriford Hospital. This is a free event which is relevant to all professionals involved in the assessment and care of cancer patients. The event will focus on sharing the learning of Cancer Information Prescriptions; it will also be relevant for teams looking to implement information prescriptions for patients with long term conditions.
To book a free place please contact Pamela Kinver – Information Prescriptions Lead, Macmillan Mustard Tree Centre at Pamela.email@example.com or telephone : 01752 763672
Or Samantha Norrish, Admin Assistant, at Samantha.firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone :01752 431467