A new guide will be developed and tested in Hull to help GPs and practice nurses improve support for cancer patients and carers following a £1.4m investment announced today (Tuesday, March 5) by Yorkshire Cancer Research.
The guide will be designed to help identify and manage important patient needs and concerns and will be tested in 54 GP practices mainly in the Yorkshire and Humber region. More than 1,000 cancer patients will be involved in the trial, and each patient will have the opportunity to invite a family member or friend who provides care to take part.
Miriam Johnson, Professor of Palliative Medicine at Hull York Medical School and Director of the Wolfson Palliative Care Research Centre at the University of Hull, will lead the four-year project.
Professor Johnson said: “It is recommended internationally that cancer patients receive early supportive and palliative care according to need, not prognosis. However, access to relevant services is not being consistently offered. Unmet needs such as poor symptom control, leading to psychological distress and carer exhaustion, are common. This can lead to hospital admissions throughout the patient journey.
“Innovative ways of identifying patient and carer needs systematically, making efficient use of relatively scarce resources, are desperately needed. This guide will help GPs and nurses to have structured conversations with their patients so they can check for and address problems. As well as improving quality of life, there is some evidence that early involvement of palliative care in cancer may improve survival.”
Just 6 in 10 patients taking part in the 2017 National Cancer Patient Experience Survey agreed that the GPs and nurses at their general practice did everything they could to support them while they were having cancer treatment. Only 6 in 10 participants agreed that doctors and nurses gave patients’ families or someone close to them enough information to help care for them at home 1.
Dr Kathryn Scott, Chief Executive at Yorkshire Cancer Research, said: “We want to ensure that people with cancer in Yorkshire, and the loved ones who help them, have access to the best possible care and support. To achieve this, we also need to support our GPs and practice nurses in discovering and addressing distressing symptoms, worries and concerns.
“This project has been made possible thanks to the generosity of communities throughout the region, who continue to support us in our goal to tackle local cancer problems. By working together, we can make great strides in helping people in Yorkshire avoid, survive and cope with cancer.”
- National Cancer Patient Experience Survey 2017, http://www.ncpes.co.uk/reports/2017-reports/national-reports-2
Nikki Brady, Senior PR Officer, Yorkshire Cancer Research. Tel: 01423 877228. Email: email@example.com
Notes to Editors
- Harrogate-based Yorkshire Cancer Research was founded in 1925 and is the largest independent regional cancer charity in England (Registered Charity 516898). We are not part of a national charity.
- We are committed to reducing the devastating impact of cancer on the lives of people living in Yorkshire.
- Our mission is to work in partnership, fund research and support initiatives that will help people in Yorkshire avoid, survive and cope with cancer.
- Current statistics show that 583 people are diagnosed with cancer in Yorkshire every week. Incidence and mortality rates are higher than the England average due to social deprivation, post-industrialisation and lifestyle choices but also availability of healthcare services and difficulties accessing early diagnostics, clinical trials and the latest treatments.
- We aim to:
- Be the leading authority on cancer in Yorkshire, understanding the problems and priorities in the region and sharing knowledge with partners.
- Raise awareness of cancer and how to prevent it by working in local communities, schools and colleges, sports clubs and with other health-related organisations.
- Promote screening programmes and fund research that can improve the diagnosis of cancer so we can detect and treat it at the earliest opportunity.
- Invest in innovative research projects at every stage of a cancer patient's journey.
- For further information, please visit www.yorkshirecancerresearch.org.uk or follow us on Facebook or Twitter.