Tag Archives: Person-centred care

A personal view: achieving recovery following cancer

With support from Matt Kennedy, Nic Bowler has become a key contributor to Macmillan’s Election Task and Finish Group that helped shape our manifesto calls. Open and personal, Nic’s blog explains how, following a cancer diagnosis, he used a variety of approaches and Macmillan’s HOPE course to begin to rebuild his work-life and build new social relationships.

nic-bowler-cropped

Resilience and recovery, I guess it’s the holy grail following cancer?

It implies getting back to a decent level of functioning, an even keel, some kind of normality, achieving a new equilibrium and being able to withstand whatever else life decides to challenge us with. I knew all this, but following my cancer, I found it difficult to achieve.

Actually, I found it VERY difficult! I’ve known other survivors go back to work as if nothing had ever happened. It just wasn’t like that for me – even though my outcome physically was as good as it could have been. My Macmillan nurse did a sterling job in keeping me informed, and supporting me as long as she could, but I needed MORE.

Hope-Programme-WebI was on antidepressants for a while and had a ton of counselling. In the midst of the chaos I discovered that Macmillan run a course entitled ‘Help Overcoming Problem Experiences’ (HOPE). So of course I signed up and benefited from the course content and the supportive environment which the course provided. I guess it helped me realise that I wasn’t the only one who seemed to be struggling with getting back-on-track.

Eventually I learnt to meditate and practice mindfulness. I rebuilt my work-life, and built new social relationships, to fix the trail of destruction that cancer seemed to leave in its wake. I’ve kept in touch with the small HOPE group and we meet up every couple of months for lunch.

It was at one such lunch about a month ago when I decided to check out my experience with one of the others.

“Have you felt less able to withstand stress since your cancer?” I asked… as it is something I have become aware of. The answer was “Yes, but I’ve become a better problem solver.”

Now that really got me thinking and reflecting. As I thought about it, I became aware that this was also true for me, but I was more focussed upon what I felt I had lost, instead of the new way of dealing with stressful situations, which I also had learnt.

Instead of trying to ‘battle-through’ situations, which I often did previously, now I will figure out the best plan and then act on it. No more ‘holding’ operations leading to long term stress for me. Whilst it does feel like I’ve got a lower tolerance to stress, I have learnt to be more assertive and decisive in actually dealing with situations which I would have allowed to rumble on before.

So when I had originally thought about recovery and resilience, what I had in mind was a baseline set in the past. And what I have learnt, four years into remission, is to set my baselines to better accommodate my present and future.

Now that sounds like resilience and recovery really worth having!

Living with Cancer

You can sign up to HOPE – our free six week Macmillan self management programme.

Port Talbot, Aberavon Beach Hotel, May 9

10am – 12.30pm (5 weeks)

Cardiff, Chapter Arts Centre, June 9
2.30pm -4pm

Bangor, Venue TBC, June 15 -16 and Sept 8 (1/2 day)

Carmarthen, Ivy Bush Hotel, July 4
10am – 12.30pm

Do you have a cancer diagnosis? Are you interested in attending our self management programme HOPE? Or do you know someone who would benefit from attending?

This will help you set positive goals for your future and give you a chance to share your experiences and reflect on living with cancer in a supportive environment.

If you would like to reserve a place or have any questions regarding the programme please contact the Learning and Development team in Wales on: 01656 867960 or email: Genette Webster, Learning and Development Manager: gwebster@macmillan.org.uk or waleslearning@macmillan.org.uk

Improving outcomes for people living with and beyond cancer

michelle_lloyd-cropped-lightenedMichelle Lloyd has worked within the NHS for 25 years. Here she explains what her role as a Macmillan Person-Centred Care Project Manager involves, and why it is her most rewarding role to date.

Hi, My name is Michelle Lloyd and I am the Macmillan Person-Centred Care Project Manager within Cwm Taf University Health Board.

I have been in post since April 2015. It is such a valuable role.  It’s really busy with so many exciting areas.  I am almost in my 25th year of working within the NHS and I can honestly say that this is the most rewarding role I have undertaken!  I feel lucky here within Cwm Taf UHB to be part of the Patient Care and Safety Team.

I report directly to the Assistant Director of Nursing who is also the Lead for Cancer Nursing. My placement within the nursing structure has been so valuable as it gives me direct access to our wonderful Specialist Cancer Nurses and Acute Oncology Nurses who are of paramount importance in implementing Person-Centred Care here within Cwm Taf UHB.

I am very grateful for the support of Alun Tandy, Macmillan Development Manager and the support given by Gillian Knight, Macmillan Lead Nurse/South Wales Cancer Network who is a key source of advice and support to me and many of our Specialist Cancer Nurses.

I really have great access to senior cancer services staff including the Lead Cancer Clinician, Mr Sandeep Berry who I work closely with.  Being an integrated member of the Cancer Services Structure has enabled me to raise the profile of person-centred care in such an effective way.

Macmillan Cancer Support define person-centred care as “ensuring that the needs of the person living with cancer are always at the heart of how services are planned, not the needs of the service providers”.

One way, adopted within Cwm Taf UHB of embedding person-centred care is through the Macmillan Recovery Package. The package details a series of key interventions which, when delivered together, can greatly improve outcomes for people living with and beyond cancer.  It is Central to Macmillan Cancer Support’s objective of achieving it’s ‘9 Outcomes’:

macmillan 9 outcomes

Cancer is moving from a disease where mortality was often the norm to one where more people can expect to live healthy and active lives for many years after their treatment is over.  This presents the NHS with new challenges particularly around ensuring that patient’s needs are holistically assessed and met via a Care Plan and that patients receive accurate information which helps with self-management.

The Recovery Package is made up of the following elements:

  • A Holistic Needs Assessment (HNA) and care planning at key points of the care pathway.
  • A Treatment Summary completed at the end of each acute treatment phase and sent to the patient and the GP.
  • A Cancer Care Review completed by the GP or practice nurse to discuss the person’s needs. The review should happen within six months of the GP practice being notified that the person has a cancer diagnosis, but this should be the start of an ongoing conversation required across the cancer care pathway.

Significant progress has already been made towards the implementation of the Macmillan Recovery Package here within Cwm Taf UHB especially in implementing Holistic Needs Assessment and Care Plans.  The Holistic Needs Assessment addresses the physical, emotional, practical, spiritual, psychological, social and financial needs of cancer patients helping to ensure that that the care delivered is person-centred.