A cancer patient from Heywood has become the 5,000 patient this year to benefit from having cancer treatment at home, thanks to an innovative service provide by Manchester’s internationally acclaimed cancer centre, The Christie.
The Christie ‘At Home’ service involves fully qualified nurses from The Christie visiting patients in their own homes to provide them with lifesaving and life extending cancer treatments. The service has recently been expanded from 10 to 12 chemotherapy and immunotherapy nurses.
Brenda Taylor (77) was diagnosed with a cancerous neck tumour 2 years ago. Following surgery to remove the tumour she is on regular follow up treatment, once every three weeks.
Commenting on the service at home, Brenda said: “It’s a superb service. The nurses are brilliant. They are so kind and caring. They come in, we have a chat and they check my blood pressure each time to make sure it’s safe to have the treatment.
“Then I get the injection in one of my legs. They are with me for around 45 minutes and it never feels rushed. They wait with me afterwards to check that there is no reaction. They always take their time and help me with any questions I have or anything I need to sort out with the treatment.
“It used to be a 15 minute drive each way for the treatment but I don’t drive and my husband is 80 so the drive was getting harder and harder. Having the treatment at home is much less hassle. It’s a great service and I’m sure if more people knew about it they would want it.
“I recently had my 109th injection and will stay on this for as long as I need to.”
SACT (systematic anti-cancer therapy) outreach service manager at The Christie, Stephanie Hechter, added: “At The Christie, we know that our patients want to have their cancer treatments as safely as possible as close as they can to home.
"We also understand how tiring it can be for patients if they have a long journey to and from our Withington site. Our ‘At Home’ service is designed to make having chemotherapy and immunotherapy as convenient and stress free as possible, in the comfort of a patient’s own home. We are incredibly proud of the service.
“The ‘At Home’ team of 12 Christie nurses offers the same high standards of treatment and care consistent with our main site. We have extremely positive feedback from all our patients that use it. We are committed to expanding the service and hope that in 2021 more than 6,000 patients will benefit from this service.”
All patients using the ‘At Home’ service are assessed by a Christie nurse before their treatment begins and continue to have regular reviews by their Christie consultant.
The ‘At Home’ service is part of The Christie’s expanding outreach service, which now offers over 25,000 chemotherapy and immunotherapy treatments each year in a mobile chemotherapy unit and at venues closer to or in patients’ homes.
Patients who would like to find out more about having treatment at home should ask their doctor or chemotherapy nurse for more information, or contact the team on 0161 918 7671.
The Christie ‘At Home’ service is part-funded by The Christie charity. The Christie charity supports the work of The Christie NHS Foundation Trust providing enhanced services over and above what the NHS funds. This includes money for care and treatment, research, education and extra patient services.
The Christie NHS Foundation Trust was the first specialist trust to be rated as ‘Outstanding’ twice (in 2016 and 2018) by the health regulator the Care Quality Commission (CQC). It referred to The Christie as ‘a leader in cancer care’ and ‘a pioneer in developing innovative solutions to cancer care.’ The CQC praised the Trust’s staff which it said ‘go the extra mile to meet the needs of patients and their families’ and that they were ‘exceptionally kind and caring.’ In 2017, the CQC rated The Christie as the best specialist trust in the country, and one of the top three trusts overall in England.