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Hospital team shortlisted for national award after improving service for patients with cancer

Poole Hospital has been shortlisted in this year’s national Patient Safety Awards after improving patient experience in its oncology service.

The developments have resulted in shorter waiting times, prompter treatment and a greater capacity to take on more patients and nearly 95 per cent of patients now have their treatment available as soon as they arrive, preventing them from travelling to the hospital more often or staying for longer than they need to.

The hospital was shortlisted in the cancer care category for ‘Improving Flow in the Chemotherapy Pathway’.

Staff studied how individual parts of the oncology service worked and identified why procedures sometimes didn’t flow as smoothly as they could.

The redesign included an expansion of patient education services, closer coordination between staff, redeployment of pharmacy and phlebotomy staff in outpatients, shared workloads and less task repetition.

Blood tests, pharmacy reviews, nursing assessments and clinic appointments are now all completed on the same day ahead of specialist cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy and immunotherapy, which are prepared individually for each patient.

Nearly 95 per cent of patients now have their treatment available as soon as they arrive at the hospital, which prevents them from travelling to the hospital more often or staying for longer than they need to.

The revamp was first implemented in March last year as a pilot scheme and after its initial success, it was rolled out fully from January this year.

It is part of the hospital’s ‘getting it right the first time’ approach, which aims to reduce costs, shorten waiting times and generally improve patient experience.

“We have effectively re-written the way we work,” said Dr Tom Geldart, consultant medical oncologist and the project lead.

“The review was based on putting ourselves in the patients’ shoes and understanding what it must be like for them to go through the service.

“Since the new pathway was introduced, attendance to patient workshops has doubled, multidisciplinary working has improved and there has been a dramatic decrease in repetition of tests and queries, resulting in fewer delays.”

Lyn Allen, lead pharmacist for cancer services, said:  “I’m really excited that our team has been shortlisted in the Patient Safety Awards.

“We’re all striving for the same outcome - to go the extra mile for our patients and colleagues and we are dedicated fully to improving patient and staff experience wherever possible.”

Louise Watkinson, senior staff nurse, added: “Patients need to know when they come to the hospital that everything to do with their treatment is ready.”

“This will result in less stress for them and help their treatments fit with their lives.

“We have a huge desire to deliver high quality care to our patients.”

Lyn Allen, Adrienne Rogers, Tom Geldart and Louise Watkinson

Lyn Allen, Adrienne Rogers, Tom Geldart and Louise Watkinson

Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Longfleet Road, Poole, Dorset BH15 2JB. Tel: 01202 665511

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