Personalised cancer care aims to ensure that every patient is treated as an individual, based on ‘what matters’ to them and their individual strengths and needs. To ensure that personalised care was considered when developing projects, RM Partners hosted a shared learning event on 9 April for senior cancer nurse specialists and lead cancer nurses, allied health professionals, patient experience leads, patients and carers.

The aim was to better understand the implications of personalised cancer care and learn more about how clinicians across west London are already implementing aspects of personalisation in their cancer care.

Nicola Kay, Deputy Director of Personalised Care at NHS England, provided insight into the Comprehensive Model for Personalised Care, including the proposed operating model and important aspects of personalisation such as shared decision making. She also commented on how these aspects might be applied to cancer nationally.

A patient representative from the RM Partners Patient Advisory Group, Keri Spencer-Thomas, spoke eloquently about her understanding and experience of personalised cancer care following her diagnosis with breast cancer in 2016.

Vanessa Brown, RM Partners Senior Project Manager for Personalised Cancer Care, provided an overview of the work we are undertaking to develop and implement personalised cancer care across west London, including prehabilitation and health and well-being support.

This was followed by some local presentations on these topics.

A poster competition organised prior to the event provided an opportunity for teams to showcase local personalised cancer care work. Attendees at the event chose Croydon University Hospital as the winner. The poster, ‘Moving forward with personalised care: Macmillan Support Officers’, outlined a study into the impact of Macmillan support officers on the patient experience and completion of holistic needs assessments within 31 days of diagnosis at the hospital – an important cancer metric supporting personalisation of cancer care.

Over lunchtime there was also an opportunity to speak with the Cancer Care Map team from the Dimbleby Cancer Centre (www.cancercaremap.org).

In the afternoon, there were two presentations on data. One touched on the uses and caveats of the National Cancer Patient Experience Survey and the other, from Imperial College Healthcare Trust, demonstrated how its Somerset database helps to analyse and improve on the number of electronic HNAs completed within 31 days of diagnosis.

This was followed by a workshop session with teams discussing their action plans around personalised cancer care locally and creating specific action plans to discuss within their teams.

The concluding presentation from Dr Susanne Cruickshank, Associate Professor of the University of Stirling and Chair of the RCN Cancer and Breast care Forum, about TEECAN (Translate, Educate and Empower nurses to improve CANcer care), led to a discussion about workforce and education issues.

Copies of the presentations and some of the posters are available in the links to the right.