Andy Jackson
Posted by

Speeding up patient access to cutting edge treatment options

Andy Jackson
Posted by
09 Feb 2017

Fast Access to Trials programme is giving patients greater access to possible treatment options and helping speed up recruitment to clinical trials.

Over the past 18 months we've been working with Tomorrow's Medicine on a programme designed to get patients access to possiblie clinical trial treatment options more quickly.

The Fast Access to Trials programme works by matching all patients who answer an initial bank of three questions with potential suitable clinical trials and then putting all those that wish to find out more about a particular trial directly in touch with the research nurse at the treatment centre where that trial is taking place. The research nurse then takes the patient through the remainder of the screening process before producing a letter for the patient to take to their consultant to sign-off to begin the referral system.

Impact

Patient interest in the Fast Access to Trials programme has been huge with more than 10,000 people visiting the website as a result of our regular posts on the Bloodwise Facebook and Twitter accounts. More importantly, three patients have now gone all the way through the screening process. One chronic lymphocytic leukaemia patient has gone all the way and is now just going through the final referral process to move on to a trial at St. Bart's Hospital in London.

This is the ultimate validation of the programme which began as a simple pilot study involving one clincial trial for newly diagnosed Hodgkin lymphoma patients. Now there are more than 20 trials for all blood cancer types at 5 different treatment centres available on the Fast Access to Trials programme which has been shortlisted for 'The Partnership with NHS Award.'

Our involvement

Our primary role in the programme has been to drive patients to the Fast Access to Trials website via Facebook and Twitter - the first time that social media has been used in such a way. 

We've also assisted Tomorrow's Medicine with the production of the website which included facilitating focus groups with some of our Patient Ambassadors who have been incredibly helpful especially with their feedback and suggestions around tone and language. These communications also enabled us to be able to include our patient support line details on the Fast Access to Trials website ensuring that patients who were unsuccessful in finding a suitable trial weren't left without any further support or information to help them.

Next steps

Primarily, we will continue our support of the programme through further posts on our social media channels. However we're also working with Tomorrow's Medicine to try and add more trials to the programme which we hope will include a number of Bloodwise funded trials that are part of our TAP Programme.

This programme is a great example of how working in partnership is helping us to support and empower patients and is giving them the opportunity to have a greater say in regards to their treatment by giving them access to more treatment options that they otherwise may not have been aware existed.

If you have any further questions about the Fast Access to Trials programme or about blood cancer and treatment options in general please don't hesitate to get in touch with our patient support team by emailing us at support@bloodwise.org.uk

You can read more about our involvement with the Fast Acceleration to Trials programme here