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National excellence award for Velindre Cancer Centre's Paracentesis Team

Six members of Velindre’s Paracentesis Service are smiling on stage with their award from the Chief Nursing Officer for Wales.

24 May 2023

The Paracentesis Team at Velindre Cancer Centre (VCC) has received a national award for establishing their outstanding and innovative service.

The annual Chief Nursing Officer (CNO) for Wales Award was presented to the team at Velindre University NHS Trust’s nursing conference, which was attended by nearly 100 healthcare professionals.

Viv Cooper, Head of Nursing, Quality, Patient Experience & Integrated Care, said:

"I am really proud of the team for winning this prestigious CNO award. Their work makes a real positive difference to patients. We must mention our radiology colleagues who support this nurse-led service too. Thank you for making us all so proud."

VCC’s Paracentesis Team includes ANPs Rachel Bartley, Matthew Walters, Sarah Owen, Helen Way, Lauren Sheppard and trainee John Davies, and Radiographers Denize Vaile, Jo Ward and Nadia Worsley.

Representatives of the CNO for Wales Sue Tranka attended the conference at the All Nations Centre in Cardiff to present the award. The award aims to celebrate the Welsh NHS nursing and midwifery workforce and those who go above and beyond their everyday roles. It recognises exceptional contributions that make a real difference, and provide excellent care, leadership and inspiration.

About the paracentesis service at VCC

In some patients with advanced metastatic cancer, fluid can collect in the abdomen which can affect the lungs, kidneys, and other organs. This is known as ascites, and it causes abdominal pain, swelling, nausea, vomiting, and other distressing symptoms.

Abdominal paracentesis is the insertion of a drain to remove fluid from the patient’s abdomen providing symptomatic relief.

The Paracentesis Team at VCC established an Advanced Nurse Practitioner (ANP) nurse-led day-case abdominal paracentesis service, with several benefits for patients and healthcare services.

The service was developed by nurses to manage and support patients with severe ascites that needed urgent paracentesis and couldn’t be accommodated urgently at their local district general hospital, leading to unnecessary patient admissions.

Prompt management of ascites considerably improves patient experience and quality of life. The Paracentesis Team provide an invaluable service to patients, and their key achievements include:

  • Established excellent multi-disciplinary teamwork among nursing, radiology, medical and admin staff.
  • Patients are treated on a designated ambulatory unit where nursing staff are competent in the after care of these patients
  • Developed confidence amongst nursing staff to perform clinical intervention traditionally carried out by medics.
  • ANPs and junior doctors trained to perform paracentesis and competency sign off.
  • Education provided to nurses, including district nurses
  • Avoided hospital admissions, thereby improving patient experience, quality of life and satisfaction, and reducing risk of complications associated with extended hospital admissions.
  • Developed clinical governance infrastructure to support the service delivery.
  • Shared learning and training will be made available to other Health Boards and Trusts in Wales to assist in the setup of other paracentesis nurse-led services.

Velindre University NHS Trust, Unit 2,Charnwood Court, Parc Nantgarw, Nantgarw, Cardiff, CF15 7QZ
Tel: 029 2019 6161