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Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust takes big step in transformation of post-treatment care of patients recovering from cancer

21 May 2020

Health Care

Post-treatment cancer patients in mid and south Essex are to gain more control over their on-going care and support, thanks to a new remote digital monitoring platform.

Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust (MSEFT) has commissioned an innovative web portal that will allow patients to benefit from "personalised care packages" after they have been treated for breast, colorectal or prostate cancer. 

This will mean fewer hospital visits as they will now be able to keep in touch with their clinicians from the comfort of their homes. Crucially, they will have access to all the support, clinical advice and educational resources they need through an app or the portal. The new technology is particularly timely given "the new normal" resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic and the acceleration of virtual clinics.

Michael Catling, the Trust's director for cancer, said: "We want to improve the quality and impact of the care and support provided to patients living with - and beyond - cancer. These personalised care packages and the technology that will support them will mean patients are better informed about their disease, their treatment and the long-term effects of the cancer and their medication.

"Self-management services are tailored to individual needs and therefore help people return to living healthy and full lives as swiftly as possible."

Clinicians will be able to track patients against their agreed care plan and retrieve and study their test results. 

Remote personalised self-management and support is particularly appropriate for patients recovering from cancer who are at low risk of a relapse. 

The innovative technology will initially be available to patients treated for three common types of cancer from the summer. It will be extended to other groups later.

The personalised care package available from the web portal will provide:

  • A comprehensive plan for the patient's longer term care and support after their treatment has ended and treatment summaries
  • A cancer care review 
  • Good regular communication with clinicians so any risks can be identified early
  • Health and wellbeing information and support.

 

The Trust recently signed a contract with THERAPYAUDIT to provide the digital platform. It will be used by both GPs and hospital clinicians - ensuring everyone is contacted at appropriate times about any checks.

This puts MSEFT amongst the leaders in the East of England in establishing a remote access digital platform to support these patients, which is a priority for the national cancer programme.

Chris Wright, an IT consultant, founder and CEO of THERAPYAUDIT says: "We are pleased to be partnering with MSEFT by supplying technology that can help the Trust transform the care of patients recovering from cancer. It demonstrates how technology providers can work with committed clinicians to improve healthcare and give patients more control over their own recovery."

The East of England Cancer Alliance Transformation Programme has provided £180,000 in funding to support the new model of care and the technology that underpins it.