Quality Care COUNTS; Health Chiefs Are Building a Strategy for Cancer Care in the Millennium

Article excerpt

When someone is seriously ill, they and their relatives need not only first-class care but as much reassurance as is possible.

The feeling that the patient could somehow be better off elsewhere or receiving different care in another institution is an understandable one.

But it can be really damaging at a time when having maximum confidence counts for a lot.

Fife Health Board have taken this and other key issues in modern cancer care on board, and have come up with a strategy to provide an integrated network of consistent care for cancer patients across the whole of the Kingdom of Fife.

The services being proposed to take Fife's cancer care services into the new millennium were decided upon only after extensive consultation with medical and nursing staff and with other health professionals.

Other interested individuals and organisations, including MacMillan Cancer Relief, also provided invaluable input.

The result is the establishment of one Cancer Unit operating across Fife, allowing for uniform standards of care as well as health promotion and screening programmes.

Another benefit for patients is the promise that all cancer patients will have access to surgeons and physicians with "a declared and demonstrable interest in cancer care" and, where appropriate, "access to specialist multi-disciplinary teams".

Opportunities have therefore risen for specialist nursing staff to take the initiative forward into a working reality.

Initially, the board are looking to recruit a lead cancer nurse, and describe the post as "critical for the implementation of both Fife Health Board Strategy for Cancer and Palliative Care Services and the Cancer Nursing Strategy". …