Researchers at The University of Manchester have had a major impact on policy, treatment and support for patients with cancer, including improved nutritional care for more than 100,000 patients, increased return to work nationally and improved support needs assessment for 4,500 families during end of life care.
Professors Karen Luker, Gunn Grande, Chris Todd and their team have identified problem areas in the management of cancer, survivorship and end of life care and had considerable success in the following five areas:
- Inequities in access to breast cancer treatment services. The team has shaped policy and informed public and political debate. Used as evidence in the Cancer Reform Strategy 2007 and the National Cancer Equality Initiative 2008, their work forms the basis of the National Cancer Intelligence Network’s continued monitoring of under-treatment of older women.
- Appropriate follow-up services after breast cancer treatment. They demonstrated that telephone follow-up is as effective as and less costly than face-to-face meetings. This work informed guidelines which set the standard for cancer management across the globe.
- Physical wellbeing before and after treatment. Their enhanced use of the Malnutrition Universal Screening Tool (MUST) has improved the care for 100,000 patients annually. Their work has also been central in shaping international clinical guidelines and care in the management of cough in lung cancer.
- Cancer survivors’ return to work. Their work contributed substantially to the Department of Health and Macmillan Cancer Support National Cancer Survivorship Initiative. More survivors have returned to work, with considerable economic impact.
- Support needs for family carers during end of life care. Their Carer Support Needs Assessment Tool (CSNAT), used in palliative home care settings, assesses carer needs at such a critical time and currently supports around 4,500 carers per year, with wider rollout imminent.
“Our research has identified key problem areas and developed and tested solutions to improve support for patients and their families throughout the cancer trajectory.”Gunn Grande / Professor of Palliative Care