A new team of Primary Care Wirral (PCW) Cancer Care Coordinators will help increase specialist support for cancer patients across three local Primary Care Networks (PCNs).
The PCW Health & Wellbeing team has created this new professional profile based on the original definition of the Care Coordinator role, included in the DES Contract.
The new role is the first of its kind in Wirral, with the offer open to any local PCNs.
Holistic support for cancer patients
Cancer Care Coordinators will provide support for oncology patients from the beginning of their diagnosis, guaranteeing their needs are addressed at a physical and mental level.
The objective is to maximise pre/post-treatment patient wellbeing and ensure they experience a seamless journey from primary to secondary care and into community support services.
As well as supporting regular cancer reviews, Care Coordinators will undertake a Holistic Needs Assessments to identify clinical and non-clinical concerns and produce personalised care plans accordingly.
“For most patients, getting a cancer diagnosis is an overwhelming experience”, said Lucy Holmes, PCW Health & Wellbeing Operations Manager.
“We want to help cancer patients as much as possible to enable them to live their lives as fully as they can.
“This requires ensuring their physical, mental and emotional needs are meet as early as possible, preferably before their treatment or surgery starts.
“Our Cancer Care Coordinators will be available to help at every step of the way, listen to what is important for patients and create plans to address any physical, emotional, financial, practical or spiritual concerns they may have.”
Adapting PCN roles to the needs of the community
Following a successful adaptation of the Care Coordinator ARRS role to patients with learning disabilities, PCW’s creation of a specific professional profile for cancer will help practices fulfil the cancer specifications of the DES contract.
Alongside providing patient holistic support, their work will also focus on improving cancer screening uptake rates.
With a cancer incidence and a mortality rate above England’s average, a tailored care strategy for oncology patients in Wirral is a key priority for local Primary Care services.
An increasingly “older population also means a rise in the number of people diagnosed with cancer in the next 10 years”, said Holmes.
“We are building the foundations for more resilient Primary Care services, ready for future challenges and changes in our community.
“This includes facilitating support and early detection, and our Cancer Care Coordinators are ideally placed to help practices make this possible.”
PCW’s solution for Wirral PCNs
PCW’s Cancer Care Coordinators are currently working for three local PCNs, however, the offer is open to any Wirral GP networks.
For more information about the service or any other Health & Wellbeing support programmes, please contact PCW Health & Wellbeing Operations Manager, Lucy Holmes, on [email protected].