Breakthrough Breast Cancer and Breast Cancer Care have joined forces with Scarborough Hospital to launch the first ever programme dedicated to improving services for secondary breast cancer patients.
Although incurable, secondary breast cancer can often be controlled for a number of years.
The Department of Health funded programme launched in March with a training day for nurses from York Hospital and Scarborough Hospital.
The two charities are now working collaboratively with the hospital and secondary breast cancer patients to help identify any improvements needed, and decide the best way to put them into place.
With an initial rollout of five hospitals across the UK, the programme will be introduced into a further ten over the next three years.
Ruairi O’Connor, Head of Campaigns and Advocacy, at Breakthrough Breast Cancer said: “We know that patients with secondary breast cancer need more care to suit their specific needs.
“Research has shown that this group of patients has a high level of unmet social and psychological needs and can often suffer from depression, anxiety and fatigue to name just some conditions.
“In order to ensure the best possible treatment is provided, it is imperative that the voices of these patients are heard loud and clear.”
Jackie Frazer, Macmillan advanced clinical nurse specialist at York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, said: “The breast team is delighted to be working with these two charities to develop a ‘Secondary Breast Cancer Pledge’ for our patients.
“The aim of this work is to use patient and staff feedback to inform improvements to the support and services we provide. We hope that this will make a real difference to breast cancer patients.”