New pathway for patient-centred follow-up for patients with early breast cancer

Patients will have a greater say and involvement in their care following their treatment for breast cancer, under new guidance published today by the East of England Cancer Alliance.

Specialist breast care nurses will be assigned to patients, who can contact them for advice and support, meaning patients can have any concerns quickly looked in to.

This new approach puts a greater emphasis on patients focusing on their health and wellbeing, rather than worrying about their next check-up or routine test results.

The East of England Cancer Alliance is made up of the NHS organisations responsible for providing cancer care in the East of England.

Tonia Dawson, clinical lead for the East of England Cancer Alliance said:

“Happily, due to the effectiveness of treatment, more people are living longer after the completion of their treatment, and we have had to consider how best they can be supported.

“We want a greater focus on helping patients to look after their own long term health and wellbeing, and knowing what to do if they have any concerns following their treatment.

“Having specialist breast care nurses and community cancer nurses on hand means patients can be reassured that an appropriately trained health professional is available to help them and review their scan or blood test results.”

Dr Christopher Scrase, Medical Director for the East of England Cancer Alliance said today:

“Our new approach means patients are more in control of their follow-up treatment, better tailored to their own specific needs, with the necessary support in place from their hospital and wider support services.

“This patient centred approach is in line with NHS England’s Long Term Plan, which calls for a greater focus on promoting wellbeing, recovery and empowerment to provide individuals with the information and confidence to have an active role in their own care.”

The East of England Cancer Alliance’s guidance ‘Patient centred follow-up

for patients with early breast cancer’ has been published today.

Under the NHS’s long term plan, all trust that provide care for women after breast cancer must have this new patient centred approach in place by early 2020.