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Health Collaboration Awards 2016: Cancer Treatment at Home

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The EFPIA Patient Think Tank established the Health Collaboration Awards in 2015, to share best practice in collaborative projects that address healthcare needs. Entrants include collaborations between patient organisations, industry, local authorities, healthcare systems and other key actors in delivering healthcare.

The winners of the 2016 edition of the Awards were announced at the Health Collaboration Summit, which took place on 9-10 November in Brussels.

This week, we focus on the winner of The Service Delivery Award: Cancer Treatment at Home.

Campaign Project

‘Cancer Treatment at Home’ is a pioneering service developed and run by the chemotherapy directorate of the Clatterbridge Cancer Centre NHS Foundation Trust (CCC). Serving a population of 2.4 million across Merseyside, Cheshire and the Isle of Man, the Trust is one of the UK’s largest networked cancer centres.

Based specifically around the needs of the local patient population, ‘Cancer Treatment at Home’ enables patients with breast and skin cancer to receive one or more of a number of identified therapies, in the comfort of their home. The service is unique in the UK, as it is run in-house with support of a Trust-owned pharmacy. This allows the Trust to take advantage of the zero rate of VAT applicable to medicines supplied by a hospital pharmacy.

Objectives include: improving cancer patients’ experience of care by offering independence and choice over treatment settings; reducing time spent travelling and waiting in clinics; and releasing capacity in day-case clinics.

Patient Benefit from the Project and How it Was Measured

The benefits of the service are substantial, with patient surveys consistently rating the service 100% for both patient satisfaction and patient needs being met. There are currently 140 patients enrolled, resulting in an estimated 2700 treatments episodes and associated clinic time saved since commencement of the service to date. A VAT saving of £257,898 has been delivered over the same time period and the chemotherapy directorate is currently at 84.5% of its monthly CIP target for ‘zero rated for VAT’ medications.

Cancer Treatment at Home is benefitting patients by reducing the burden and expense of travel and alleviating anxieties around hospital visits. For patients preferring hospital treatment, clinical staff have noticed that freeing up clinic capacity has provided a calmer, more focused environment for treatment.

Innovative Elements of the Project

The service model is unique in making innovative use of its in-house, wholly owned, out-patient pharmacy – PharmaC. This has delivered efficiencies savings that have been reinvested back into the service, allowing it to expand.

Through the development of an innovative service model, Cancer Treatment at Home treating staff are employed fully by and accountable to Clatterbridge Cancer Centre (CCC) without the use of a third party homecare company.

CCC takes medications previously only delivered in hospital and enables them to be administered in a patient’s own home. Some of these are complex medications and / or require regular monitoring but robust treatment protocols and clinical governance standards have ensured high levels of patient safety with zero patients reporting to triage or A&E due to problems following treatment.

Collaborative Elements of the Project

The NHS 5 Year Forward View encourages actively and endorses collaboration with industry and academia. CCC worked closely with the pharmaceutical industry to obtain funding to support the implementation of the pilot scheme for Cancer Treatment at Home and this was a fundamental element in getting the service off the ground.

Amgen Ltd and CCC collaborated to ensure that patient satisfaction data was collated, financially supporting the use of iPads with the nursing team to allow them to record all their interventions whilst with the patient. The local Amgen Value Solutions Manager worked closely with the Chemotherapy at Home Senior Clinical Project Manager in sourcing relevant IT software to manage the scheduling of patients and hence maximise the nurses’ time.

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