Proton beam therapy at The Christie
From 2018, the first UK-based NHS proton beam therapy service will be at The Christie.
At The Christie, we are passionate about the services we provide. For a number of years we have recognised the potential for innovation and flexibility in service delivery models and we are proud of the achievements we have made to date.
We are actively pursuing new and innovative models of care to deliver that support patients receive care nearer to their homes. In order to reduce the inconvenience and cost of travelling to the Christie Withington site we have sought to expand our Christie quality services to community and home settings.
We already deliver chemotherapy at a number of local sites, both through fixed clinics in local hospitals and primary care centres and through the Christie Mobile Chemotherapy Unit as well as patients' homes where clinically appropriate. In 2014-15, over 80% of clinically appropriate treatments were delivered within 20 minutes drive of our patients' homes. The Christie has recently developed its Chemotherapy Strategy for the next three years and our vision is one continuing to expand the option of local chemotherapy delivery.
Christie @ Radiotherapy Services
Local delivery of radiotherapy services is a core aim at The Christie. We have established two satellite radiotherapy units at Salford Royal Hospital and at the Royal Oldham Hospital. We would like to deliver more radiotherapy locally and are currently considering a range of approaches to expand our network of radiotherapy.
Local Delivery of Outpatient Care
We have already completed a successful pilot of urology outpatient follow up appointments being delivered locally reviewing the holistic needs of our patients to not only monitor their disease, but to provide the information and support to manage the long term side effects and encourage a healthy lifestyle. We are exploring how this model could be extended to other cancer groups and potentially more flexibly through a range of community and home based settings.
Improving Access to Medicines Scheme
We have redesigned the pathway for patients who are on long term treatment who previously were required to visit hospital for quarterly consultant reviews and prescription dispensing. By introducing a pharmacy telephone consultation service, the specialist pharmacy team can assess the wellbeing of the patient on a monthly basis and if everything is well, instruct the issuing of the monthly prescription for collection by the patient locally or through home delivery rather than having to attend for a consultant review appointment. This specific patient focused service also enables those who are having difficulties tolerating treatments to be identified quickly and transferred back for hospital review. This scheme has been recognised and adopted by the national medicines optimisation group within NHS England.
The Christie has long been proud of the quality of care it provides to its patients in its main Withington site and its outreach locations but as the numbers of treatment locations grow we seek to ensure that the same high quality is delivered in all our locations.
In delivering more localised cancer treatment, patients and their families need assurance regarding the standards of cancer care they receive. The Christie, in partnership with other providers, has developed a Christie Quality Mark accreditation scheme. This is awarded to local providers who meet a core set of agreed consistent standards.
We recognise that the holistic treatment of cancer patients should include not only clinical care but also emotional and psychological support as well as advice on broader aspects of living with cancer before, during and after treatment.
Support for patients to access Christie care more locally has been through the establishment of a patient 'hot line'. This is staffed with trained nurses and is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Patients and their carers can ring up the hot line with any concerns regarding their treatment and they will be signposted to the most appropriate service.
Here at The Christie we recognise that the Cancer treatment is only part of the patient journey and The Life Ahead Plan has been developed by our "living with and beyond cancer " patient and carer reference group. It is designed to help you during the initial period of recovery right through to many years after treatment.
We believe that effective partnership working with GPs and other health care colleagues is vitally important if we are to provide flexible, responsive and seamless care to patients.
We want to support opportunities for strengthening the links with primary and secondary care colleagues, particularly focussed on more rapid identification, diagnosis and prompt referral of patients for cancer care. We are currently exploring how to offer patients more choice in the location of their care and to ensure that they and their GP are kept fully informed and involved throughout their treatment.
We are also working closely with other healthcare and university partners to use the latest information and research available in providing the best care for individual patients and local populations. Many of the factors influencing the rates of cancer can be addressed through multiagency working around public health, screening and earlier detection and The Christie is proud to be a core partner in this work.
Christie is leading on a trial called ADAPT. This is focussed on lymphoma patients who are 5 years or more beyond their successful treatment where the effects of treatment may be becoming evident. Through the trial, patients and their GPs are given a specific summary of their diagnosis, treatment and possible longer terms effects together with a recommended management plan. These patients then provide an annual update on any changes to their condition in order that a long term database can be established and maintained to inform future service provision and research into effective management of this cancer group. Through this trial, patients have to visit the hospital less and are more empowered in managing their own condition on a longer term basis. We would like to see this trial, once completed, rolling out to other cancer groups.