Donegal benefitting from nurse led oral anti-cancer medication trial

People across Donegal are benefitting from a first of it’s kind, nurse led oral anti-cancer medication trial.

The aim of the oncology research project was to develop and investigate the potential transition of care from the hospital to community settings for patients receiving oral anti-cancer medications.

The project led by Advanced Nurse Practitioner Dr Janice Richmond at Letterkenny University Hospital was developed to improve patients’ experience of receiving treatment with the oral anti-cancer medications to make the process as efficient and convenient as possible as well as free up hospital capacity.

Dr Richmond was recently awarded Senior Researcher of the Year by the Irish Cancer Society for her work on the project which has huge potential for national implementation.

The pilot commenced in January 2022 with 37 patients enrolled.

Throughout the 4-month period, 152 patient assessments were carried out.

Speaking about the potential of the trial Dr Richmond said, “Transitioning to a community-based oral anti-cancer medication (OAM) model would be a radical change for oncology in the Irish healthcare system; however, the COVID-19 pandemic forced swift changes in the management of OAM, and stakeholders believed these changes were positive and could be cultivated further.

“The feedback we received from patients throughout this study was very clear; patients expressed overwhelmingly positive experience of the new model of care. It was viewed as being holistic, comprehensive, organised and uninterrupted. With an integrated approach and with support and access to the wider hospital-based Multi-Disciplinary Team there is huge scope for this model to be implemented in other regions providing a similar positive experience for patients.”

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