Meet the team: #IPLCancer
Lead Pharmacist Applied Health Research, Cancer/ Joint Chair Chemotherapy Expert Reference Group, London Cancer.
University College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
- England - London (North, East and Essex)
- Shereen El Nabhani - Kingston University
- Netty Wood - British Oncology Pharmacists Association
- Melanie Dalby, Pharmacist, London
- Dr.Kunal Patel, Global Health Specialist
- Fanta Bojang - UCLH Cancer Collaborative
- Dr Mahendra Patel, Yorkshire and Humberside
Survival rates for many cancers in the UK is still lower than in other comparably wealthy countries. This could be due to a combination of several factors including late presentation and delayed diagnosis . Early detection rates in London are variable with nearly 40% of clinical commissioning groups (CCG) having a lower than the national average survival rate. The uptake for screening services is also variable. As cancer is considered the cause of most avoidable deaths and primary care is the predominant patient contact point with the NHS, it is therefore essential to improve early detection and management of cancer survivorship at this level of care provision.
A recent survey (n= 680) conducted by the Primary and Community Care Education Group (PCCEG) examined the cancer knowledge, practice and perceptions of primary care healthcare professionals (GPs, nurses, community pharmacists and dentists)in London.
The results of these surveys revealed gaps in knowledge of all HCP in both the areas of early diagnosis (ED) and living with and beyond cancer (LWBC). This translated into reduced activity in supporting patients in these areas, highlighting the need for training in ED and LWBC. With these overlapping needs, it might therefore be prudent to organise interprofessional (IPL) sessions to address knowledge gaps and to strengthen collaborations between primary care health professionals (Nabhani-Gebara et al, 2018– )
We have recently piloted an IPL session on oral cancer with 35 participants (dental staff, pharmacy staff and general practice doctors and nurses). The speakers and the facilitators were pharmacists and dentists and the participants were divided into multi-professional groups to discuss and address various tasks throughout the session. The feedback was positive whereby the interprofessional element was highly valued and allowed the participants to learn from each other.
The results of the survey also showed that the educational sessions relating to cancer attended by the respondents were adhoc and opportunistic .
A structured approach for learning is needed with a short course designed to address the knowledge gaps and allow time for reflection on practice. However, healthcare professionals in primary care have limited time for professional development and some –such as pharmacists- do not have protected learning time. Therefore, virtual learning environments can be used to facilitate this learning journey.
Our aim is to use blended interprofessional learning to upskill healthcare professionals in primary care and to optimise their role in cancer. This combines online technology enhanced learning complemented with a few face to face training sessions needed to cement potential collaborations .
An existing IPL online learning platform has been designed and developed by iheed which is a next generation medical education partner provider, built by health care professionals, for healthcare professionals. Their educational platforms –including one in cancer care-have been accredited, validated and well received by users.
The objectives of #IPLCancer are
To use an existing online platform to deliver an interprofessional blended course for cancer care to primary healthcare professionals in London
To adapt the content to address project objectives
To organise at least two face to face inter professional sessions to allow participants to meet in person
To design a group based capstone project that allows participants to work together towards designing a new service for primary cancer care.
To evaluate the participant experience and level of interprofessional collaboration within the short course
How you can contribute
- We are interested in receiving feedback from members that have taken this approach in different disease areas to understand how to make this successful.
- We are also interested in developing further collaborations to work with us to make this successful.