Beginning this month, the Clinical Champions Programme provides a unique opportunity for those appointed to develop the skills they need to effectively influence care improvement, receive one to one support from the programme faculty to implement their improvement ambition, complete residential models, and deliver a project to improve prostate cancer care.
Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in men. As part of their mission, Prostate Cancer UK want every man with or at risk of prostate cancer to have access to the same high-quality diagnosis, treatment and support, no matter where in the UK they live. The organisation wants to identify and invest in clinical leaders who will transform prostate cancer care, and the Clinical Champions Programme is a huge part of this.
Discussing how she became part of the programme, Deborah explains: “To apply for the role, we were asked to submit a proposal that would outline our ideas on treatment, monitoring, and enhancing patient care. I submitted a proposal around the importance of practice nurses, who are based in the community, and the role they play in supporting our hospital colleagues.”
“It’s about making every contact with a patient count,”
Deborah continues. “Practice nurses within the community administer an injection every three months for our patients. So, part of my proposal was based around using that initial ten-minute slot that a patient is given for their injection to promote a more holistic approach to treatment, promoting good health, monitoring things like blood pressure, and generally using the contact as an opportunity to assess the needs and wellbeing of the patient.”
After submitting her proposal Deborah went through an interview process, which was successful. Now, she begins an 18-month programme with Prostate Cancer UK, which hopes to showcase the best localised ideas and give them a platform to be shared across the country. Importantly, the programme brings together a multidisciplinary group of clinicians who share similar every-day challenges to develop a peer support network that transcends traditional hierarchy and allows them to share best practice, learn from and challenge each other.
“As healthcare experts we’re always looking at developing the service and helping our patients in any way we can to make their lives and their experience of the healthcare service a better one,” Deborah continues. “To be able to partner with a nationwide charity and voice for people with prostate cancer is a fantastic endorsement and means that we have the resources and potential available to reach the widest number of people possible. We do a lot of great work across our hospitals, so on a personal level it’s very humbling and exciting to be recognised and to be able to fly the flag for Cornwall and the RCHT.”
Speaking about the programme, Laura Kerby, Chief Executive for Prostate Cancer UK said:
“Securing a place on our Clinical Champions programme is highly competitive. At both application form and interview stage, Deborah demonstrated the passion, commitment and knowledge to improve prostate cancer care. Deborah will lead an improvement project that aims to improve prostate cancer care across Cornwall. We are excited to be working with our champions over the next 18 months and look forward to the positive changes that they will bring for men with prostate cancer and those affected by it.”