Listening exercise for a non-surgical oncology service transformation
In March and April 2023, we involved 954 patients, carers and other residents in helping South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw Cancer Alliance to think about changes to consultant oncologist outpatient appointments.
South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw Cancer Alliance ran consultant oncologist outpatient clinics for patients with some types of cancer at five local hospitals. In 2021, to alleviate pressure on services caused by a shortage of consultant oncologists in the team, they implemented a temporary service change reducing from five to two the number of sites they ran those clinics from.
In November 2022, South Yorkshire Integrated Care Board appointed Stand to plan, lead, deliver and report on an inclusive listening exercise that involved local people in discussions about how to organise outpatient clinics for people receiving non-surgical treatment for cancer.
We started out with a situation review to map and gap previous involvement work and identify risks to manage. Working closely with the programme team and partner organisations, we contributed to an equality and health inequality analysis that helped us identify patients and communities to target. We used that background information and our expert knowledge of the legal and policy framework to make sure our involvement plan met all the NHS’ duties and obligations. We designed and produced a range of materials to support the involvement plan including:
- a listening document and two surveys, and easy read versions of both
- a podcast with the programme leaders
- promotional posters and postcards
- a communications toolkit for partner organisations
- briefings and presentations for senior stakeholders including the joint health overview and scrutiny committee
- an involvement pack for local targeted community groups.
In March and April 2023, we involved 954 people in thinking about permanently changing the way those outpatient appointments are provided. We reached patients, carers and local people through our survey. We telephoned and knocked on the doors of more than 400 people who live in areas where late diagnosis of cancers is prevalent. We contacted cancer patients and carers in outpatient clinics and 331 completed our survey. And we partnered with community groups to talk with more than 100 people from communities that are commonly underrepresented in discussions on these issues.
We reported our findings in May 2023. That analysis will be used to put the voices of local people at the heart of developing proposals for changes to these services.
Gill Marsden, Transformation Lead Non Surgical Oncology for South Yorkshire & Bassetlaw Cancer Alliance, said:
“Working with Stand was true teamwork. There was a constant two way exchange of information and detail, we were able to trust and rely on each other completely. The expert support and advice from Stand gave us confidence to make sure we secure the best possible outcome from the potential service change for our patients. It was an absolute pleasure to work with and learn from them.”