July 19, 2012
A new information service has been launched at the Royal Surrey to support cancer patients during their diagnosis, treatment and beyond. The new service is an information library hosted on the NHS Choices website called the Information Prescription Service where patients can download specific information tailored to their condition.
In 2004, the National Audit Office found that nearly 40% of cancer patients did not receive written cancer information. This finding inspired investment in a co-ordinated approach to cancer patient information in England between the National Cancer Action Team (NCAT) and key charities including Macmillan Cancer Support and Cancer Research UK.
Information prescriptions allow patients and healthcare professionals to create printable documents showing just the information needed about a particular condition.
The Information Prescription Service is a national programme being rolled out across the country in stages. Implementation of Cancer Information Prescriptions at the Royal Surrey County Hospital has been supported by the Surrey, West Sussex and Hampshire Cancer (SWSH) Network with the aim that all teams and other appropriate clinical services have started issuing Information Prescriptions to some patients by July 2012, rolling out further over the next few months.
Dr Marianne Illsley, Deputy Medical Director for Oncology and Surgery, said:
“Patients affected by cancer are individuals who will have their own requirements and preferences with regard to the type and amount of information they wish to have at different times during their illness and treatment. The IPS reflects this, allowing the patient and healthcare professional to select the most relevant and helpful information from the wealth of literature available. The IPS will help patients by improving access to clear information; it is hoped that this will help reduce the anxiety and uncertainty which, for many patients, accompanies a diagnosis of cancer”
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