The Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre (BWoSCC) is a Regional Service for the West of Scotland and beyond. It is considered to be a Centre of Excellence in the delivery of 21st century cancer care.
Whilst the role of site specific specialist nurses has been integral to many cancer teams for in excess of 20 years, this has not been the case for neuroendocrine tumours in Scotland until May 2016.
An international study carried out by Bouvier (2015) revealed that NET ± their treatment had significant impact physically, socially, psychologically and functionally on many patients. Few patients if any experienced no deleterious effect.
The role of any nurse is to provide person centred and holistic care to those who are unwell. The specialist nurse combines that with specialist experience, knowledge and skills to support patients with complex needs. Without a nurse in the NET team at the Beatson gaps in care and support were very apparent.
The European Neuroendocrine Tumour Society (2014), Scottish Neuroendocrine Tumour Group (2015) and the Scottish Government (2016) all state vehemently that a Clinical Nurse Specialist is an essential part of the (Neuroendocrine) Cancer care team.
In May 2016 an Advanced Clinical Nurse Specialist in Neuroendocrine Tumours and Thyroid Cancer was appointed in the BWoSCC. To assess if the role was having an impact on needs of patients a feedback survey was carried out supported by the West of Scotland Cancer Network. A convenience sample was taken from the out patient clinic and 40 questionnaires were distributed. The response rate was 62%. There were 10 questions and 2 opportunities for comments. Questions asked were, for example perception of support, symptom management, liaison with other healthcare professionals.
The responses were very favourable with 8694% rating care as being done well or very well. The comments highlighted specifics such as helping with depression and financial problems. There were no negative comments. This work will be continued as an integral part of the teams work to meet with 12.2.1 of the ENET specification for Center of Excellence.
05 Dec 2016
UK and Ireland Neuroendocrine Tumour Society