Praise for Macmillan-funded course at Bucks

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Date: 23rd May 2018

Macmillan healthcare professionals have learnt leadership, management and negotiation skills during a six-month ‘Evidenced Based Workplace Learning’ course.

The course, helping healthcare professionals improve the cancer services they run, has been delivered by Buckinghamshire New University and funded by Macmillan Cancer Support.

A total of seven Macmillan nurses and three other healthcare professionals learnt about project management and implementing change, before presenting ideas on how to achieve this to health trust managers and senior Macmillan professionals.

Catherine Jelly
Staff who have completed the course, either as a stand-alone module or as part of an undergraduate or postgraduate qualification, are employed by a number of different organisations including Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust and Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust.

Course Leader Mary Williams, Senior Lecturer in Cancer and Palliative Care, a former Macmillan palliative care nurse, said the course aimed to improve care for cancer patients and their loved ones.

“It has been very exciting to see the hard work and passion everyone who is taking part has for patient care,” she said.

“It is a win-win situation for all concerned, with professionals implementing a great change in their area of practice and then rounding off the course by sharing their service improvement plans with other Trusts and organisations at a learn and share event.”

Tanya Demonne
Ideas students had developed included a palliative care nurse improving communication between acute trust and community teams when transferring dying patients from hospital to home, ensuring they have appropriate support to die in their preferred place of care.

Another project saw a breast care nurse improving the patient experience when attending a mammogram, and another looked at sending trained volunteers from a Macmillan information centre into the acute trust to support patients, families and staff.

Catherine Jelly, a Staff Nurse at Florence Nightingale Hospice in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, said she had benefited through learning about leadership styles, change theory, and developing business cases.

She added: “Some of the best bits of the course have been the pleasure of working with other healthcare professionals from hospitals in the region.

“It has been interesting to see what others are doing in their places of work but also how cancer care practice differs in each Trust.

“The skills and knowledge I’ve gained from this course will benefit me throughout the rest of my career as a nurse, whether that may be staying in my current position or going into more senior roles.”

Macmillan healthcare professionals
Tanya Demonne is a Clinical Nurse Specialist in Cancer Stratification with Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust and said key areas of the course for her included networking, developing focused plans and pursuing manageable projects.

She said: “The great thing has been that the course is my work, as opposed to extra work, and the result has been a more focused and structured approach when undertaking projects.”

Helen France, Centre Manager at cancer treatment centre the NGS Macmillan Wellbeing Centre, in Bristol, said she appreciated the benefits of Mary’s experience and the support, discussion, and reflection gained through learning with peers in similar roles.

She added: “I have to travel from Bristol each time but each time it’s worth it and has made me want to do further study.

“I have found the University very friendly and extremely helpful, especially since I had not studied for quite some time.”

The latest course was the third one delivered by Bucks New University and funded by Macmillan Cancer Support.

Photos: Top - Catherine Jelly; middle - Tanya Demonne; bottom - the latest group to complete the course.

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