For around a year, a new approach to holistic patient care has been in place for cancer patients. As a result of research, it became clear that patients would benefit from continued care and support in the community, as opposed to attending hospital for appointments. Change is often challenging and you require courage to change systems, but that is exactly what happened!
Advanced Nurse Specialist, Lesley Taylor, started her Health and Wellbeing Clinic in the Crescent, in Lothian Crescent, Dundee. Patients are given appointments for the clinic, where Lesley and other professionals, Julie Ellis (Speech Therapist) and Connie McMillan (Dietician) are available to give valuable advice and support. The clinic has been supported since it started by Tayside Cancer Support volunteers Joyce Kennedy and Marion Kimmet. They meet the patients and take them to a comfortable area and sit with them, relaxing any tensions and just doing what they do best – listening and supporting.
Feedback from patients has been hugely positive! They like the relaxed atmosphere; the access to other professionals without another appointment and they enjoy the company and support provided by our volunteers. Hundreds of patients have now been seen in this setting and it is likely to become a model for future patients.
Everyone recognises this would not have happened had it not been for the determination of Lesley Taylor and her dedication and skills as a practitioner were recognised when she was nominated for the MacMillan Service Improvement Excellence Award. Following interviews with Lesley, her patients, her colleagues and our volunteers, it was decided that Lesley was to be the recipient of this year’s award.
We are delighted for her and Tayside Cancer Support feels proud to have supported this amazing new venture, knowing we have (in a small way) contributed to Lesley’s success.
WELL DONE, LESLEY!