Patient and nurse

Nottinghamshire cancer psychology initiative funded for another year

Following a successful first year, Nottinghamshire Healthcare’s Clinical Psychology Cancer Service has got the green light to continue its training and video therapy service for another year, after evaluations revealed the service led to better health outcomes for both patients and staff.

Whilst firstly upskilling cancer care staff on their psychological assessment and intervention abilities, the service also provides remote video therapy to patients with severe mental health issues, improving their wellbeing and boosting their quality of life.

In addition to this, the service has also developed online resources that help patients manage their own care, as well as establishing a smart messaging intervention that reduces drop-outs and relapses.

Dr Julie Attfield, Executive Director of Mental Health Services at Nottinghamshire Healthcare, said: “We are absolutely delighted that this important service has been refunded. The service supports patients through a difficult time, which ultimately improves their quality of life. Equipping staff with the tools they need to be able to spot the psychological needs of patients early, to ensure they get the right support, is also incredibly important.

“The benefits of the team have been clear to see and we are thrilled they are able to continue to provide this valuable service to patients and staff for another year.”

The second-year £300,000 funding comes after the service was demonstrably beneficial to both patients and staff – patients saw a reduction in psychological distress and improved quality of life after interacting with the service, and, as a result of the specialised training and supervision, staff reported that they felt more confident identifying and intervening on common psychological problems.

The training also led to staff seeing improvements in their own wellbeing, helping them better navigate workplace stress and exhaustion.

The project’s Lead Clinical Psychologist, Sam Malins, added: “The need for more psychological health provision in cancer care was a key issue identified by the East Midlands Cancer Alliance, so we were delighted to receive the funding for this project and be able to evidence the impact that this kind of service has for patients and staff. It is fantastic news that the project has been re-funded for another year.”

The funding is expected to help health leaders further develop the service, which could see the training expanded into more places, more patients accepted via referrals, or even the introduction of a larger library of self-help materials for patients.

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NHE May/June 2024

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