Saturday, July 13, 2024

Coordinated Approach to Transition in Cancer Treatment for Young Adults in South Thames Network

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The transition from pediatric to adult cancer care poses significant challenges in the South Thames Children’s, Teenagers’, and Young Adults’ Cancer Operational Delivery Network, where patients often receive treatment across multiple NHS trusts. Addressing this complexity, a nurse-led quality improvement (QI) project was initiated to streamline and enhance the transition process, ensuring it aligns with National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines and cancer service specifications.

Developing Key Principles of Practice

The project spanned two years and was guided by the principles of experience-based co-design. This collaborative approach resulted in the establishment of six fundamental principles of practice. These principles were instrumental in refining the benchmarking tool, which was used to assess and standardize the quality of transition care across the network. The project’s focus on market access was evident in its efforts to create a more seamless transition, reducing barriers that young patients might encounter when moving between different healthcare providers.

Facilitation and Information Initiatives

One of the significant outcomes of the project was the implementation of initiatives aimed at facilitating initial transition conversations. These discussions are critical in preparing young patients and their families for the shift to adult services. Additionally, the launch of an information hub provided a centralized resource for patients, families, and healthcare providers, further smoothing the transition process. This hub serves as a pivotal tool in ensuring that all stakeholders have access to the necessary information, thus enhancing market access by making resources more readily available.

Key Inferences

Based on the outcomes of the QI project, several valuable inferences can be drawn:

  • Cross-network collaboration and stakeholder involvement are crucial for understanding existing pathways and processes.
  • Establishing meaningful objectives is essential for testing and implementing effective interventions.
  • Creating a centralized information hub can significantly enhance the accessibility of resources, thereby improving market access.
  • Facilitating early transition conversations helps in reducing the anxiety and uncertainty faced by patients and their families.

The project underscored the importance of robust QI processes, cross-network collaboration, and extensive stakeholder engagement. These elements were vital in gaining a comprehensive understanding of current practices and identifying areas for improvement. The coordinated approach not only met the needs of stakeholders but also paved the way for a more efficient and patient-centered transition process.

In conclusion, the nurse-led QI project highlighted the significance of a planned, coordinated approach to transition in cancer care for young adults. By adhering to NICE guidelines and refining service specifications, the project successfully addressed the challenges of transitioning across multiple NHS trusts. The emphasis on market access ensured that patients received consistent, high-quality care throughout their treatment journey.

Original Article:

Br J Nurs. 2024 Jul 4;33(13):622-629. doi: 10.12968/bjon.2023.0146.


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BACKGROUND: Young people receiving cancer treatment in the South Thames Children’s, Teenagers’ and Young Adults’ Cancer Operational Delivery Network usually receive care across two or more NHS trusts, meaning transition into adult services can be challenging.

AIM: To develop a planned, co-ordinated approach to transition across the network that meets National Institute for Health and Care Excellence guidance recommendations for transition and the cancer service specifications.

METHODS: A 2-year, nurse-led quality improvement (QI) project, using the principles of experience-based co-design.

OUTCOMES: The QI project resulted in the development of six key principles of practice; refining and testing of a benchmarking tool; initiatives to facilitate first transition conversations; and the launch of an information hub.

CONCLUSION: Robust QI processes, cross-network collaboration and wide stakeholder involvement required significant resource, but enabled deeper understanding of existing pathways and processes, facilitated the establishment of meaningful objectives, and enabled the testing of interventions to ensure the project outcomes met the needs of all stakeholders.

PMID:38954441 | DOI:10.12968/bjon.2023.0146

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