Shortlisted for the second year in a row....

Dr Jane Gibbins, one of Cornwall Hospice Care’s Consultants in Palliative Medicine was thrilled to hear that the British Medical Journal (or BMJ as it’s commonly known)  have shortlisted us once again for their prestigious awards, held in May each year.

This year we have been shortlisted in the Palliative & Hospice Care category, sponsored by Hospice UK for our integrated clinics work with the Sunrise Centre team at the Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust at Treliske, Truro.

Jane explains more about the innovative work going on, which has led to our nomination for the award;

“We are delighted to be shortlisted for the BMJ awards for a second year in a row, and looking forward to sharing our work from Cornwall in London at the BMJ Awards in May.

The key to both applications has been how innovations within the hospices have improved outcomes for patients – central to our working within multidisciplinary clinical teams. Most of the patients that these innovations have helped won’t step inside the hospice. The work we are presenting this year is about patients we see attending the Sunrise Centre at Royal Cornwall Hospital Trust.”

“The combined Oncology and Palliative care clinics (integrated clinics) were started over two decades ago to enable patients to be seen at any point along their illness – including at the very beginning. This review is tailor-made to the patient – focusing on symptoms, information sharing about their illness, listening to their priorities and preferences, and considering the needs of their loved one.  We also join this care up with healthcare professionals looking after these patients in the community. Although this approach isn’t new to Cornwall, it is a very novel way of working in the U.K. (and beyond).

Traditionally, patients with cancer wouldn’t meet a palliative care doctor until they had stopped their oncology interventions.  Recent data has shown that referrals to palliative care and hospice teams are still really late – leaving patients little time to benefit from the care.  Many patients are scared of the word and meaning of ‘palliative care’ and ‘hospices’, believing it means they are dying, and a place they won’t get home from.  However, being ‘part and parcel’ of their routine clinical reviews means that patients are able to experience palliative care first hand; that it isn’t all about death and dying, and not scary.  They welcome our input and openly accept inpatient hospice care if and when they ever need it. It show that patients are able to receive their oncological treatments (such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy) alongside palliative care; it isn’t either/or.”

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“Having trained outside of Cornwall, I feel fortunate to be part of the team that delivers this care and can see real benefits for patients. As a results of this service, we have very close working relationships with the Oncology teams; being able to give maximal care to patients coming with different perspectives and skills sets.

Lastly and extremely importantly, we are very grateful to the medical students who diligently and objectively collected the data to provide the evidence about what these clinics do. They performed this work as part of their research component within their medical training, which we supervised at Cornwall Hospice Care. This has given them to opportunity to present their work at national conferences, and won a prize for the best student essay at the Royal Society of Medicine.”

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The BMJ Awards take place in London on 10th May 2018.  You can view all the categories and shortlisted organisations at www.thebmjawards.bmj.com.

You can also follow the BMJ on Twitter @bmj_latest.

You can find out more about the Royal Cornwall Hospital’s Cancer Services at https://www.royalcornwall.nhs.uk/services/cancer-services/.

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