Keeping track of treatment

WHEN patients are given the news that they have cancer there is a lot of information to take in regarding the next steps – it is an almost impossible task to digest it all at once. So CANE, a cancer patient and carer group, has worked with staff at the E

WHEN patients are given the news that they have cancer there is a lot of information to take in regarding the next steps - it is an almost impossible task to digest it all at once.

So CANE, a cancer patient and carer group, has worked with staff at the East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust to develop simple leaflets and diaries to be given to patients at, or soon after, diagnosis.

The diary is a small folder developed to allow patients to keep their personal records in one place - with them - at all times.

Sue Plummer, Macmillan lead nurse for the Trust, said: "When a patient is treated for cancer they are seen by a number of health professionals in many different settings. This diary has been designed to help the patient keep track of and understand what treatment they are undergoing while also improving information sharing between health professionals about the patient's treatment.

"By owning this record, the patient can feel more in control over what's happening to them."

Eunice Selby, chairman of the CANE group, said: "I wish there had been something like this when I had my treatment, it would have made a huge difference to me. It gives a patient a sense of security and independence at this time of chaos in your life."

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Liz Cohen, a member of CANE, added: "This would have meant so much to me because I would have had instant access to details about my treatment. I couldn't tell you what drugs I was given but new patients will have this information at their fingertips. This provides a place to keep all your details together which is very reassuring at such a stressful time."

o CANE is holding an open evening today (Thursday) at 7pm in the post graduate centre at QEII hospital in Welwyn Garden City.

Speakers will expand on the aims and objectives of the group and visitors will also be able to chat with the members of the group, most of whom are cancer patients or carers, over a cup of coffee and biscuits.

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