Beating bowel cancer together

Our first National Colorectal Cancer Nurses Network digital get together

Thursday 24 September 2020

On 16 September 2020 we were delighted to host our first digital get together for the National Colorectal Cancer Nurses Network (NCCNN). The event was a huge success and it was wonderful to see so many nurses online, bringing together over 150 delegates from across the UK.

During the session Dr Claire Taylor MBE, Macmillan Nurse Consultant in Colorectal Cancer and Chair of the NCCNN, highlighted the vital role of the network in supporting colorectal cancer nursing practice and advancing colorectal cancer care. During a challenging year for the profession, nurses have continued to make a huge difference to the lives of their patients and colleagues. In recognition of their incredible compassion, determination and dedication we were so pleased to announce the winners of the 2020 Gary Logue Nursing Awards.

Genevieve Edwards, Chief Executive at Bowel Cancer UK gave an update on the work of the charity and what we’re doing to adapt our support for everyone affected by the disease. In listening to and responding to the needs of our community, we created a coronavirus section on our website supporting over 40,000 patients, and we’re also as dedicated as ever to raising vital awareness of signs and symptoms of bowel cancer and proactively bringing patients together for peer support online.

Expert speaker sessions

There were also some informative and hugely valuable presentations from three expert speakers. Working across a range of disciplines, our speakers are all linked by a dedication to improving the care and treatment of people affected by bowel cancer.

Session 1: Managing the long term psychological effect of COVID on you and your patients, Dr Clare Stevenson, Lead Clinical Psychologist

Dr Clare Stevenson, Macmillan Consultant Clinical Psychologist, presented on managing the long term psychological effects of COVID-19 for both nurses and their patients. We heard about ’emotional labour’ in compassionate care and ways that nurses can support each other. Reflecting on the huge impact of the pandemic on patients with bowel cancer, Clare also explored strategies and resources that can help with managing uncertainty and de-escalating anger.

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Session 2: Treating patients with advanced disease, Dr Rob Jones, Consultant Hepatobiliary Surgeon

Rob Jones, Consultant Hepatobiliary, provided a fascinating presentation on treatment options for patients with advanced liver disease. We learned about liver surgery and advances in treatments – a relatively new discipline but increasing all the time with improved potential to save lives. Rob reflected on the expert work of the Cheshire and Merseyside multidisciplinary team. Acknowledging regional variation across the UK, Rob also emphasised the importance of referring patients to a specialist: “If the patient doesn’t see the right people, they can’t get the best advice,” he remarked.

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Session 3: The effects of COVID on your patients with colorectal cancer, Dr Konstantinos Kamposioras, Consultant in Medical Oncology

For our final speaker, we heard from Dr Konstantinos Kamposioras, Consultant in Medical Oncology, on the effects of the pandemic on people with bowel cancer. Emerging data suggests less referral and admissions of patients for cancer care, including 76% fewer urgent referrals for diagnosis. And finally, Dr Kamposioras revealed the results from a survey of patients showcased patient perceptions of support during the pandemic which once again highlighted the huge impact and changes in patient care.

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The Gary Logue Colorectal Nurse Awards

Finally, a huge congratulations to the winners of the 2020 Gary Logue Colorectal Cancer Nurse awardsSheena Woodward from Epsom General Hospital, as nominated by patients; and Allison Sharpe from the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle, as nominated by colleagues.

With thanks to our sponsor

Merck has provided financial support for the educational content of this meeting. The meeting sponsor hasn’t had input into the content, speaker sessions or Gary Logue Awards.

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