Ambulance team honoured at Cancer Care Innovations

A team of ambulance clinicians from the south west has been honoured for their innovative work in cancer care.

The Macmillan Cancer Care Development team at the South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT) won the Innovation Excellence Team award at the prestigious 2018 Macmillan Cancer Support Excellence Awards, held at The Birmingham Hilton Metropole Hotel on Thursday 8 November. Awards host, multi-award-winning journalist and broadcaster Victoria Derbyshire, presented project manager Joanne Stonehouse with the award.

As the Innovation Excellence award-winning team, they were considered to have demonstrated vision and commitment to make a lasting difference to the quality of services offered to people living with cancer.

The project has focussed on improving and promoting best practice in cancer, palliative and end of life care for patients living with cancer across the south west of England who access urgent and emergency care by calling 999.

As well as creating a broad education package for paramedics, the project team of four has also developed and improved systems and protocols to give ambulance clinicians access to specialist advice and guidance whilst they are on scene. Ultimately, this ensures cancer patients receive the right care in the right place at the right time.

“What paramedics within SWASFT now have are options,’ said Lynn Dunne, one of the project’s three cancer care development facilitators. "They know who to phone, they know what their resources are both in hours and during the out-of-hours periods, and they didn’t have access to these things before. It doesn’t mean that we don’t take patients to hospital, it means that when appropriate we can treat people at home or facilitate a referral to a more appropriate health setting.”

“It’s been great for the patients and great for their relatives, but it’s also been great for the paramedics too,’ said paramedic, Joanne Stonehouse, the Macmillan cancer care project manager. “They now feel confident in these situations and knowing that they’re able to do the right thing gives them increased job satisfaction.”

The team has also received interest from other ambulances services across the UK and beyond, keen to learn from their experience.

Ed Murphy, Macmillan’s head of services for the South West said: “Congratulations to the Macmillan Cancer Care Development Project team at South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust on winning the prestigious Macmillan Innovation Excellence Award. This pioneering project has provided much needed education and training to enable paramedics to give the best and most appropriate care to people with cancer. I am delighted that their hard work has been recognised by this award.”

The Macmillan Excellence Awards, which are now in their seventh year, were developed to celebrate the outstanding work carried out by Macmillan health and social care professionals across the country. The event recognised excellence in three areas: service improvement, innovation and integration.

Over 350 health and social care professionals and guests attended the awards ceremony.



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