(L-R) Emma Hunstone, Cancer Support Manager, Susanna Glover, Breakthrough Breast Cancer, Sue Frost, Macmillan Lead Breast Care Nurse, Doreen Cox, Breast Care Consultant

Jun 08th 2015

Trust pledges to improve services for local breast cancer patients

Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust (SWBH) has signed up to leading charity Breakthrough Breast Cancer’s initiative to ensure services for local breast cancer patients are the best they can be.

Breakthrough’s Service Pledge for breast cancer was designed to enable hospitals to identify patient-led service improvements, and over the past year City Hospital patients have been given the opportunity to provide their views on what matters most.

The four pledges that the Trust have agreed to implement are:

  • We are here for you
    Design a Breast Care Nursing leaflet for information and also send out information to patients at six months with contacts and information on resources, websites, support groups etc.

              You Said
              You felt alone after your treatment was finished and didn’t know if you could call us.

              We Did
              We will be available to support you through and beyond your cancer journey.

  • Know your team
    Photo boards in the waiting area with photo and role profile of whole Breast Cancer Team including Consultants and Breast Care Nurses.

             You Said
             Seeing several members of the team can sometimes be confusing.

             We Did
             We will raise our team’s profile by the use of the photo board and Breast Care Nurse Team leaflet.

  • Care after Surgery
    Review the discharge process to include involvement of relatives/carers. Ensure patient has appropriate information when going home about aftercare and support.

              You Said
              You weren’t given enough information about your aftercare when you went home following your operation.

              We Did
              We will ensure both you and your family and friends are involved when discharging you after surgery.

  • We will welcome you
     Implement a meet and greet service within the Breast Unit for all patients and clinics.

              You Said
              You felt anxious and lost as there was no-one on reception to welcome you and point you in the right direction when you arrived                           in the Breast Unit.

              We Did
              We have put in place a meet and greet service to make you feel welcome and improve your clinic visit to the Breast Unit.

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in the UK, with around 50,000 women and around 400 men diagnosed each year, and whilst breast care across the country is generally very good, there is always room for improvement.

“The Breast Unit is extremely proud to have worked in partnership with Breakthrough Breast Cancer and our patients in developing our patient service pledges” said Cancer Support Manager for Sandwell and West Birmingham, Emma Hunstone.

“Sometimes we are so focused on the day-to-day service delivery , that we don’t always step back and take time out to consider what is, or is not, working well for patients as they progress through their journey with us here at Sandwell and West Birmingham.

“We are 100% committed to delivering these pledges, and will continue to monitor the impact of them as we move forward.

“We would like to express our sincerest thanks to the BBC team and to all of our patients and staff who participated in the program. Our pledges could not have been developed without their enthusiasm and desire to work with us to help improve services to benefit all patients attending the unit for their breast cancer care” Emma added.

Anna Sarphie, who took part in the Service Pledge project as a Patient Advocate, said: “Being a patient advocate and working with the Breast Team at City Hospital has been really inspiring and moving. I was delighted to be able to bring the voices of other breast cancer patients to those that cared for them, and to feel that those voices were truly listened to and taken in to account by very sympathetic staff.

“Having breast cancer can make you feel like you’re losing control, but being involved in a project like the Service Pledge has helped restore that feeling for me, as well as making improvements that future patients will benefit from.”

On the 4th June 2015, Cancer Services were presented a plaque by Breakthrough Breast Cancer, in recognition of the Trust’s dedication to developing a patient-centred breast care service.

Since first launching in 2003, Breakthrough’s Service Pledge for breast cancer has revolutionised expectations for over 30,000 breast cancer patients at more than 60 hospitals across the UK.

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