Cancer Navigators improve patient experience at UHNM
Cancer patients at University Hospitals of North Midlands are benefiting from the support of Cancer Navigators from the point of referral for diagnostic tests and throughout their treatment and care, ensuring that they have the support they need when they need it.
At UHNM, the Cancer Navigators all manage different phases of the patient pathway such as early diagnosis, oncology and patients living with and beyond cancer. As a collective, they play an important role in keeping track of patient progress through pathways to ensure their cancer journey is as smooth as possible.
The Cancer Navigators help by chasing test results, communicating with other healthcare professions and support services and coordinating further appointments and procedures, ensuring that the patient has all the information they need whilst supporting them to live well with and beyond cancer.
The service allows patients, their families and carers during the entire diagnostic and treatment phase’s access to the support they need. The Cancer Navigators help to guide patients to ensure they understand their diagnostic tests, diagnosis and treatment plans and can sign post patients to the correct information and support available at any point in their pathway.
Dorinda Palmer, Macmillan Lead Cancer Nurse, said: “The Cancer Navigators are making a real difference to patient care. Having them within the teams has meant that colleagues are able to focus more on their clinical duties and supporting those with a cancer diagnosis. We are now seeing improvements with appointments being offered more quickly, scan results being reviewed more regularly and increased turnaround time for clinical outcome letters.”
Patient Suzanne, 66, who has used the service, said: “My consultant gave me a leaflet about the navigator service, so I thought I would try it and I am so glad I did. Sarah was so good to chat to, she was friendly, she knew what to say and after our first conversation I felt like I had known her forever.
“I struggled a lot and Sarah was there to chat to and made a real difference to me. I can’t say enough positive things about the service, it’s brilliant.”
Sarah Berrisford, Gynae Cancer Navigator, said: “What drew me to the Cancer Navigator role was the simple fact that it was all about the patient, their journey through what must be world shattering news and how we can support, listen and direct them through to living with and beyond cancer.”