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Bloodwise welcomes supportive care programme for patients with incurable cancer

The Bloodwise logo. Bloodwise appears in black text against a white background
Posted by
07 Jul 2016

NHS England has announced a new initiative to improve care for patients with incurable cancer.

The programme called ‘Enhanced Supportive Care’, which is designed to fully address the needs of cancer patients, will be used at 21 cancer centres across England.  It will ensure that patients with incurable cancer have early access to specialist support where there are pain or symptom problems, in order to avoid the need for emergency admission to hospital.

Good supportive care early in a patient’s treatment can improve quality of life in patients with advanced cancer, lengthen their survival and reduce the need for aggressive treatments at the very end of life.

Guidance for hospitals to implement the initiative is based around six key principals:

  • Early involvement of supportive care services
  • Supportive care teams that work together
  • A more positive approach to supportive care
  • Cutting edge and evidence-based practice in supportive and palliative care
  • Technology to improve communication
  • Best practice in chemotherapy care

In February this year Bloodwise worked with the charity Marie Curie on a report that highlighted how patients with incurable blood cancer are less likely to access specialist palliative care than people with other types of cancer.   

Diana Jupp, Director of Patient Experience at specialist blood cancer charity Bloodwise, said: “We know that many patients with incurable types of blood cancer can experience high levels of anxiety and sometimes depression, alongside often very difficult physical side effects such as fatigue and pain. We hope that this new enhanced supportive care package will address these issues. It is vital that we ensure that patients who cannot be cured have the best quality of life possible and that their choices are respected and needs are met every step of the way.” 

More information on NHS England’s Enhanced Supportive Care programme is available here.


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