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12. Outcomes from the Dissemination Conference

Fifty-three (53) people attended the dissemination conference. Overall, it was well-received by participants. There was creative discussion that both reinforced and developed the findings from the project. The conference also provided a useful networking opportunity for those in specialist roles and enabled sharing of job content, relationship building and buddying opportunities. Three issues of particular relevance to the project were:

  • Succession planning. With the added consideration of an expanding workforce and the expected number of retirements, this issue was challenging most centres that have specialist roles. 
  • Value of the specialist role. The need to identify and disseminate information about the value of the role was promoted by the service manager. Participants were reminded that the business case for the implementation of specialist roles needs to demonstrate at least a 5% cost saving to NHS Trust Boards. 
  • Collaborative posts.  One service manager highlighted the potential for opportunities to have a shared role across centres. This could be an option for smaller cancer centres that may not have the workload to justify a specialist post.
Case Study 4 – Phil Reynolds

Since qualifying in 1999 I have worked in hospitals all over the UK, Australia and New Zealand. I started as a general treatment review radiographer eight years ago seeing patients for all tumour sites and for the past six years I have been the Advanced Urology Practitioner specialising in radiotherapy for prostate and bladder cancers. The development of this role came after a gap was identified in the quality of support available for these men. 

My role is to be the link between urology and radiotherapy and so I have contact with all patients undergoing radiotherapy for a urological cancer. I support both the patient and their family throughout treatment after initially seeing them at a pre-treatment seminar.
As well as inserting gold seed markers into the prostate to aid the accuracy of treatment, I provide continuity of care throughout the course of radiotherapy. As a non-medical prescriber I am able to initiate treatment for side effects and provide a follow up clinic.

Close working with colleagues in the multi-disciplinary team is crucial to ensuring the best care for the patient as enabling  referral to other specialities such as andrology or continence nurses as required. The role also includes involvement and facilitation of a monthly prostate cancer support group since its inception five years ago. I have really enjoyed helping facilitate the group as well as giving talks in my field of expertise.

As a member of the urology working party within radiotherapy, I help to continually improve techniques and outcomes for patients having radiotherapy for a urological cancer. To that end I am also responsible for writing our department patient information as well as reviewing information for Prostate Cancer UK.

In the future I hope to continue advancing the role working towards a consultant practitioner and to continue to make the journey for the patient as smooth as possible.

 

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