The traditional model of medical oncology follow-up clinics has been challenged in recent years, partly because it cannot meet the individual needs of the growing cancer survivor population. Greater personalisation of follow-up care is required to manage cancer survivors’ clinical, psychosocial, and practical care, and many organisations are attempting to achieve this through nurse-led follow-up services. This article describes a service development project, in a cancer unit in Northern Ireland, that developed, integrated, and evaluated nurse-led follow-up clinics for five tumour groups. Evaluation was undertaken through a focus group and surveys, and the article discusses the findings that suggest successful integration of nurse-led clinics requires comprehensive planning and preparation, including professional development, and risk stratification of patients, and that nurse-led clinics enhance continuity of care, and promote patient empowerment and self-management strategies. The article concludes that nurses can deliver cancer follow-up services effectively, and are well placed to provide comprehensive survivorship care for patients.
- cancer nursing practice
- living with and beyond cancer
- nurse-led follow-up