14 November 2023
A “pioneering” team based at Velindre have won a prestigious national award for their achievements.
The South East Wales Immunotherapy Toxicity Service took home a Macmillan Professionals Excellence Award last week at the annual ceremony in Glasgow.
The team beat other nominees from across the United Kingdom to win the Innovation Excellence Award for their streamlined support to patients with toxicities from early recognition to resolution and discharge.
Pictured L-R: Dr Senjuti Gupta, Rachel Gibbons, Hayley Mian, Dr Ricky Frazer, Valerie Harris and Dr Jo Ocen
Dr Jo Ocen, Consultant Medical Oncologist at Velindre Cancer Centre and Co-lead of the Service, said:
"The biggest priority for the service is managing, often complex immunotherapy related toxicities, to enable patients to continue with treatment safely.
"We have taken opportunities to build pathways and develop closer relationships with specialist partners in the local health board with the aim of making the patient experience as seamless as possible."
The service was launched in September 2022 having received £830,000 of Welsh Government funding for that purpose, and is part of a project which aims to develop same-day cancer services to keep patients who are experiencing complications out of A&E.
Its initiatives include same-day emergency care, robust guidelines and pathways to standardise patient care, and collaborative multi-disciplinary team (MDTs).
To share their knowledge with clinical colleagues across the UK, the team have helped establish and co-ordinate a monthly National Immunotherapy Education Forum and have also co-created a weekly podcast called ‘The Immunobuddies.’
Dr Ricky Frazer, Consultant Medical Oncologist at Velindre Cancer Centre and Co-lead of the Service, said:
“Immunotherapy is amazing, but toxicity can compromise it.
"If we can pick up toxicities earlier and manage them before they become too serious, we can keep people on treatment. That is ultimately what most patients want, so the impact the service can have on patient journeys and outcomes is incredible."