Cancer Alliance

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Treatment and Pathways

Help for cancer patients throughout COVID and beyond

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Over recent months, the COVID-19 pandemic has led to difficulty, heartache and worry for millions of people across the UK. But imagine being diagnosed with cancer at the same time, or undergoing cancer treatment knowing you are much more susceptible should you catch this potentially fatal disease.

Thankfully, the staff and patients at the Queen’s Centre, Castle Hill Hospital, have a team of supporters looking out for them before, during and after the pandemic.

The DanKitching35 Foundation has been providing local cancer patients with activities, days out, equipment and more for almost three years now.

The charity was set up in 2017 in memory of dad-of-three, Danny Kitching, who died from an aggressive form of bowel cancer aged just 35.

In recent months, the charity and its supporters have served as a lifeline for patients spending time on oncology wards during the COVID-19 pandemic. Having previously supplied TVs and personal computers for patient use, these items really came into their own as visiting restrictions tightened and keeping in touch with loved ones became increasingly important.

But a good cuppa can also be worth its weight in gold, so the charity has continued to supply wards 30, 31, 32 and 33, plus the outpatients and radiotherapy departments, with tea, coffee and biscuits throughout the pandemic too.

And not wishing to forget the hospital’s hardworking staff, the foundation has also provided refreshments, treats and essentials for those putting themselves at risk to deliver life-saving care and treatment in the trust’s specialist oncology centre.

Bryan Birch, Danny’s father-in-law and Trustee of the DanKitching35 Foundation says:

“Chemotherapy treatment, in particular, can be gruelling, leaving people feeling really low, tired and unwell. While Danny was receiving his treatment, we saw just how important it was for him to have things to look forward to between cycles of treatment and to keep himself occupied when he had to spend time on the ward.

“Since Danny tragically passed away, thanks to the support and generosity of our sponsors and fundraisers, we’ve been able to provide items and experiences great and small to improve the lives of cancer patients and those caring for them.

“We’ve paid for short breaks for cancer patients and their families, events, days out, and personal computers which patients can use on the wards to stay in touch with loved ones.

“We’ve provided hundreds of dressing gowns and personal care packs for patients admitted in an emergency or without provisions, and then we’ve also supplied the more routine or daily comforts such as refreshments, tea and biscuits for staff and patients across the wards, outpatients and radiotherapy departments.

“Supporting cancer patients, their families and staff is our way of acknowledging the outstanding care shown to Danny and of keeping our memories of this wonderful and deeply caring man alive.”

Angie Barstow, Junior Sister on Ward 32 at the Queen’s Centre says:

“The DanKitching35 Foundation has been a great support to the Queen’s Centre in recent years, and we’ve seen first-hand the positive impact their donations have had and the benefits they’ve brought to our patients and their families.

“The past few months have been particularly difficult for us all; coronavirus has placed a significant additional strain on our hospitals and for cancer patients in particular, who are more vulnerable to the disease, it’s been a time of great concern.

“But the DanKitching35 Foundation has been a shining light for us throughout, and thanks to carefully managed and safe deliveries, coronavirus hasn’t stopped the group from ensuring our hospital patients can still access the comforts and refreshments they’ve come to appreciate.

“On behalf of all the oncology centre staff and patients, we’d like to thank the DanKitching35 Foundation for their ongoing support.”

For more details about the work of the DanKitching35 Foundation, visit www.dankitching35foundation.org.uk  or email dankitching35foundation@gmail.com

“This is how we know we’re doing a good job for our patients” Castle Hill team becomes first in country to achieve service quality standard

By | Treatment and Pathways

A team of healthcare science professionals in Cottingham have become the first in the country to achieve a new standard which assures cancer patients of quality care.

Safety, treatment planning and equipment maintenance were among the areas reviewed as the Radiotherapy Physics Team at Castle Hill Hospital took part in the independent two-year pilot Medical Physics and Clinical Engineering (MPACE) accreditation scheme. MPACE independently reviews all aspects of healthcare science which underpin the radiotherapy treatment provided to patients.

Now the 36-strong team are the first radiotherapy physics team in the country to achieve service standard BS 70000:2017, assuring patients around the quality and safety of the service they’re receiving and the competence of staff delivering treatment.

Pete Colley, Consultant Physicist Lead for Radiotherapy at Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust said:

“Our team jumped at the chance to take part in the MPACE accreditation scheme when it was offered to us back in 2017.

“This independent assessment has looked at everything from how we staff our service to the upkeep of our equipment and the design of patients’ treatment plans.

“Most cancer patients attending hospital for radiotherapy treatment will see a therapy radiographer, but the radiotherapy physics team works in the background to deliver the technology and the crucial scientific and engineering know-how to ensure patients can receive their treatment safely.

“We know we have the best interests of our patients at heart, but now we have been awarded MPACE accreditation, this is how we know we are doing a good job for our patients.”

Around 170 patients receive radiotherapy treatment for cancer every day at the Queen’s Centre at Castle Hill Hospital, with some patients receiving daily radiotherapy sessions for up to a month at a time.

Explaining the reasons why Hull University Teaching Hospitals took part in the MPACE pilot, Richard Whitlam, Quality Manager said:

“Our medical physics department has been ISO 9001 certified for many years, but we were looking to increase levels of patient and professional assurance in the competence of our staff and quality of our service.

“Being UKAS accredited under the MPACE scheme means we now have independent evidence to show that our staff are competent and that we deliver a high quality service focused on putting patient care first.

“This can only serve to reassure our patients at what can often be a worrying or stressful time for them, and it’s a real boost for the radiotherapy physics team who have worked so hard to get to this point.”

Treatment and Pathways – Colorectal Business Meeting

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On 17th September 2019, Humber, Coast and Vale Cancer Alliance (HCV CA) held a Colorectal Business Meeting for clinicians and managers across the locality.

The agenda included updates from the Cancer Alliance and discussions around FIT implementation for low risk symptomatic patients across the area, which will be rolled out in HCV region by December 2019, the development of Inter-Provider Transfers guidelines for colorectal cancer patients, final details for the HCV Colorectal Operational Policy, Rapid Diagnostic Pathways and the implementation and streaming of MDT guidelines.

It was also noted that HCV CA recently took part in a nation evaluation and monitoring programme that CADEAS are running. This is the monitoring and progress of implementation of NICE DG30 guidance and HCV CA contributed through an interview, which will be published as part of a national evaluation next year.

Praminthra Chitsabesan, Colorectal Clinical Lead for HCV CA, chaired the event and said:

“Working more closely in a collegiate and co-operative way is important. Together, we aim to improve cancer care throughout the whole process – right from a patient who may or may not have symptoms, through to primary and tertiary care.

It’s not only important to improve our ability to cure patients but also to improve their abilities to live with cancer, making work around palliation and supportive care just as vital.

To this end we are trying to develop a Humber, Coast and Vale operational policy for colorectal cancer that is agreed across the whole patch and the response to the initial document at this meeting has been very good. It has allowed us to set out a stall for what we think is great care while allowing us to finesse our processes.”

A further colorectal business meeting will be held in December 2019 and will continue to build on the work plan.

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