In oncology, a UK-wide picture of the potentials of nurse-led model of care is becoming to emerge. The NHS National Cancer Action Team (NCAT) for England reported in 2010 that nurse-led care has shown benefits such as increased capacity, reduced waiting times, and the opportunity to deliver care close to patient’s home through community specialist nursing and other support network in the community such as MacMillan, district nursing and the hospices for terminally ill patients, however, unfortunately the benefits of CNS care are not fully realised and explored specifically within the cancer care. It is imperative that CNS contributions are evidenced clearly and robustly, to show how important their contributions are to the overall picture of health care.
Critical literature review was used a systematic process of evaluating available academic literature and judging their contents through sets of criteria.
This paper has shown some benefits in terms of cost savings, waiting time reduction, satisfaction from both the patients and clinicians and impact on patients’ quality of life and control of symptoms. The studies recognises adaptability of nurse-led follow-up care for cancer patients but they also recognised that more research is needed to attain maximum contribution of this care. Therefore, there is the important need to increase research data by developing organised and well-coordinated approach to follow-up care. Furthermore, nurse-led follow-up care should be developed as an alternative cancer care model and be placed on top of the national priority agenda.
This literature review has demonstrated that nurse-led follow-up care is efficient, safe and acceptable to patients and clinicians alike and potentially can have some cost impact to outpatient services. Patients have highlighted continuity of care, and support for their relatives was equally important in addressing their physical and emotional needs. CNS plays a vital role within the MDT in liaising with other members and has the ability to work harmoniously across departmental boundaries. Nurse-led follow-up care has added value in streamlining services by reducing the already burdened outpatient resources. Equally this model of care preserves patient’s good quality of life and control management of symptoms.
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The author has declared no conflicts of interest.
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