Patients benefit from pioneering
hi tech home consultations
PEOPLE with cancer are benefitting from pioneering
technology that allows them to take part in appointments from the comfort of
their own home. The Telehealth Clinic is being used at:- The Clatterbridge Cancer
Centre NHS Foundation Trust, in Merseyside, 1 of the UK's leading cancer
centres. It has been piloted for almost a year by a small group of lung cancer
patients who are able to have an appointment with their specialist Nurse via a
Professor Michael Brada, Consultant in Clinical Oncology, helped to develop
existing system iKonsult for use at the centre in Wirral. Prof Brada said:-
"I have long been interested in making life easier for people who travel
either short or long distances and then have to sit and wait in clinics,
sometimes taking time off work or requiring their family to do so. This is a way
of trying to make life easier for them. We want to deliver care that is close to
patients and this is the ultimate way to do that."
Sarah Cubbin, Macmillan Lung Cancer Clinical Nurse Specialist, who uses the
technology for appointments with patients, said:- "There are strict
guidelines for who is allowed to take part and we have been very careful to
ensure suitability. It isn't the right approach for everyone, some people
actually want to attend face to face appointments. Others like the system as it
allows them to keep in touch, ensure their needs are being met, but they can
avoid travel and possible waiting times."
Patients are still required to attend the Centre, in Wirral, or 1 of its
networked clinics, for scans and specialist clinic appointments with their
consultant every 3 months.
The group taking part all have a stable disease and are on nurse led treatment
plans, taking oral treatments. They were given the choice of using the service
or attending appointments in person.
The format is the same as the traditional face to face consultation. Their
condition is assessed, questions answered and a plan formulated to follow up on
what is required.
If the nurse is concerned about their appearance or any symptoms, they will
refer them immediately to their nearest acute Hospital or make an appointment
for them at:- The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre.
If a prescription is required it is delivered by the:- 'Blood Bikes'
operates at the Hospital. Security and confidentiality have been a big part of
developing the system.
Terry Dickinson, from Fazakerley in Liverpool, has been having
appointments via the Telehealth Clinic for 5 months. Terry, 66, who has lung
cancer, said:- "This is saving me time, effort and money on travelling
expenses. I used to travel to Clatterbridge twice a month, now it is twice every
I have blood tests at Hospital in Aintree which is local, the nurse has my
results ready for the appointment and then my medication is delivered by the
Blood Bikes. It is so easy. I was amazed on the very first call at how clear the
picture was. I could have been in the same room at the nurse. This is definitely
the way forward."