Lincolnshire’s hospitals are now able to offer improved support and care for patients with a skin cancer diagnosis through a dedicated Skin Cancer Support Service.
The team is part of the Skin XL project run within United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust, and supported by Lincolnshire STP and East Midlands Cancer Alliance, which uses specially trained nurses who support patients and help them deal with the medical and psychological needs of a skin cancer diagnosis.
It is made up of Skin Cancer Clinical Nurse Specialists (CNS’s), Skin Surgery Nurses, Skin Cancer Support Nurses and a Clerical Support Worker.
The nurses are able to attend ‘breaking bad news’ appointments and offer support. A dedicated nurse can then follow-up the consultation with a one to one session where they help patients to understand any medical implications of their diagnosis and are able to answer questions and provide a variety of information and also emotional support.
In addition to this, the two Skin Cancer CNS’s are currently undergoing training to be able to run clinics for patients that have been referred into the service. What we deliver for our patients will be enhanced further with the qualification of the two Skin Surgery nurses who will be able to support clinics with biopsies, when they complete their training in October 2020.
Wesley Pepperdine Skin XL Project Manager said: “Our team is here to compliment an already excellent service and help patients across the Trust and provide advice, support and reassurance face-to-face as well as being available on the phone and through email.
“We now have a full team working across all of our hospital sites as well as supporting clinics in other areas as well as running the skin cancer diagnosis support line. So far the team has supported over 500 patients and even during the peak of COVID-19 we were able to support people with a skin cancer diagnosis remotely.
“The team provides practical as well as emotional support and this means we are able to help diagnose patients more quickly as well as being able to offer them on-going support throughout their journey.”