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Chemotherapy Coordination team wins an Unsung Hero Award

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A team of four at the Cancer and Haematology Centre at the Churchill Hospital received a national award after they developed a system to handle chemotherapy drugs more efficiently and free up nurses' time for patients.

Information Manager Grant Vallance, System Trainer Giovanni Alessandro Rizzo, Specialist Cancer Pharmacist Cheuk-kie Cheung and Chemotherapy Scheduler Nathalie Haverly at Oxford University Hospitals were crowned 'Team of the Year - Admin and Clerical' at the Unsung Hero Awards 2019 ceremony on Friday 1 March 2019.

The Chemotherapy Day Unit has experienced a 10 - 12 percent increase in treatments every year, with 70 patients attending daily for the administration of chemotherapy drugs. Each chemotherapy treatment has to be prescribed by a doctor, screened by a pharmacist and prepared by an external company.

Previously, the process to ensure that these three vital stages had been checked consisted of manually typing a daily list of patients and associated drug details. It was a time-consuming task that required an administrator to work solely on this for a full working day.

The Chemotherapy Coordination team spent 10 months developing an 'IT Chemo Report' and launched a pilot in January 2018. They then ensured that its implementation into the daily work of the Chemotherapy Day Unit went as smoothly as possible.

The 'IT Chemo Report' is automatically generated every day through a platform that links to both the electronic diary and the prescribing system,  providing  a very clear indication of chemotherapy being prescribed, screened and received by the external company.

Now, the administrators spend half the time taken previously ensuring the processes for chemotherapy orders are completed and accurate. The new system has also enabled the nurses to focus more on nursing duties, as the administrators managed to take on other administration tasks originally carried out by nurses, which have also made their job more interesting and fulfilling.

Lead Chemotherapy Nurse Eliz Flanagan, who nominated the team for the Unsung Hero Award, said: "I am highly impressed and delighted with the team's innovation, enthusiasm and dedication to the project.

"Thanks to their hard work, the IT Chemo Report is now used daily by many members of the multidisciplinary team improving patient safety, efficiency of staffing resources, and reducing patients' waiting time in the unit."

Sara Randall, Director of Clinical Services, said: "The brilliant work of the Chemotherapy team sets a clear example that excellent care can be delivered also by non-clinical staff.

"Their dedication reflects the Trust's core values of excellence, delivery, learning and improvement. They made a tangible, positive impact on patients attending the Chemotherapy Unit and truly deserve this recognition."

Pictured: from left Cheuk-kie Cheung (Specialist Cancer Pharmacist), Grant Vallance (Information Manager) Giovanni Alessandro Rizzo (System Trainer) Nathalie Haverly (Chemotherapy Scheduler)