On 12 September, the North Central London Cancer Alliance held its first cancer clinical nurse specialist conference. The Alliance and cancer nurse leads from the North Central London acute trusts organised the event in partnership with Macmillan Cancer Support and nearly 150 nurses and nurse leaders attended. The day was a celebration of cancer nursing, but the issues of workforce retention and recruitment, and compassion fatigue were also discussed.
The conference included sessions on innovations in nursing, personalised care, patient experience, addressing health inequalities, and how to raise awareness of the role of cancer clinical nurse specialists and better support them.
At the event, Chris Caldwell Chief Nurse, North Central London Integrated Care Board said: “I’m delighted to be part of this conference which focuses on addressing inequalities and delivering personalised care through really listening to, and acting on, the perspective of patients.
“This is at the very heart of our aims as the NCL Integrated Care Board.
“It’s important to recognise the vital role of cancer nurses – there is very clear evidence that this specialist role has a hugely positive impact on patient outcomes and experiences of care.”
The day’s highlights included a moving and amusing speech from Errol McKellar of The Errol McKellar Foundation, who thanked cancer nurses for their care during his diagnosis and treatment for prostate cancer. He is now dedicated to encouraging men to get checked for the disease. Artist Blanche Ellis spent the day capturing the conference in illustration and running two workshops with attendees to artistically represent the unique contribution of cancer clinical nurse specialists to patient care.
The presentations from the conference are available below: