New partnership with Macmillan Cancer Support to transform cancer patients' experience

Macmillan and Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust have launched a new partnership that aims to provide cancer patients and their families with an excellent experience of cancer care.

The partnership will see Macmillan and the Trust come together to work on a three year, collaborative improvement programme where healthcare professionals work alongside patients and colleagues in community services to transform existing systems of cancer care.  With a £2 million investment from Macmillan, the partnership will:

• Coordinate and streamline support, so cancer patients experience a smooth treatment journey, especially at transition points1
• Fully integrate cancer services and sharing of information between primary and secondary care services
• Develop faster and more efficient pathways for routes to cancer diagnosis2 and improved long term follow up or ‘survivorship’ care

The programme will also focus on training and education to enable healthcare professionals to deliver more compassionate and personalised cancer care, as well as help empower patients to take control of their own cancer treatment and care.

The first phase of the programme will include:

• Recruitment of innovative patient navigators, who will guide each person with cancer through their hospital experience from detection, diagnosis and through treatment and beyond
• Mapping out and testing the transformative, integrated ways of working – with extensive input from local patients, healthcare professionals at the Trust and local community service organisations

Carol Fenton, General Manager for Macmillan Cancer Support, London, Anglia and South East, says:

“When you’re diagnosed with cancer you can feel lost and alone in a complex, frustrating and overwhelming treatment and care system.  We want people diagnosed with cancer in North West London to expect and receive the very best personalised cancer care; access the best support when, where and how they need it; and for it to be delivered with compassion and respect.

“Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust has already made enormous efforts to improve patients’ experience of care and we are excited to be working alongside the Trust to make this a reality and deliver sustainable improvements in the long-term.”

Dr Catherine Urch, chief of service for cancer at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust said:

“We are delighted to announce this partnership with Macmillan and we hope that our patients and their families will benefit from this collaboration.

“The partnership will be piloting patient navigators for the first time who will aim to support patients through their journey from detection to treatment. We hope this role will add to the support already in place for our patients.

“We have already started to make improvements to our cancer patient experience and this partnership will enable us to continue building on that success.”

In 2014 Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust was one of the most improved Trusts in the country in Macmillan Cancer Support’s patient experience league table3.  Macmillan and Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust have already been working together to improve cancer patient experience – for example:

• Macmillan information and support services at Hammersmith Hospital and  Charing Cross Hospital, which both offer information and face-to-face support for patients, carers and family members
• a companion scheme which offers one-to-one emotional support from trained volunteers to people having cancer treatment at all hospitals across the Trust
• implementing Macmillan’s Values Based Standard – which guides staff behaviours and interactions with patients on a day-to-day basis to ensure people’s rights are protected across the care pathway.

There are now around 50 Macmillan professionals working at the Trust – including 27 clinical nurse specialists, as well as speech therapists, counsellors and a consultant in cancer rehabilitation.

Notes to Editors:

1 – ‘transition points’ are, for example, when care moves between providers such as hospitals, community services and health and social care; or when someone finishes their treatment but needs ongoing support with living with the long-term impact of their cancer or requires end of life support.
2 – ‘routes to diagnosis’ are the ways in which patients start their cancer care from presenting with a possible cancer; either via a referral from a GP, via screening or an emergency admission in A&E.
3 –

Macmillan Cancer Support
More than one in three of us will get cancer. For most of us it will be the toughest fight we ever face. And the feelings of isolation and loneliness that so many people experience make it even harder. But you don’t have to go through it alone. The Macmillan team is with you every step of the way. We are the nurses and therapists helping you through treatment. The experts on the end of the phone. The advisers telling you which benefits you’re entitled to. The volunteers giving you a hand with the everyday things. The campaigners improving cancer care. The community there for you online, any time. The supporters who make it all possible. Together, we are all Macmillan Cancer Support. For cancer support every step of the way call Macmillan on 0808 808 00 00 (Monday to Friday, 9am-8pm) or visit