22nd July 2020
Our general manager for private services Peter Snuggs provides an overview of the support we provide to consultants and their patients.
Over 90% of the private funded care we provide is systemic anti-cancer therapy in the home and we cover a broad range of drug therapies. Our care is always consultant-led and delivered by our highly-trained, in-house team of chemotherapy nurses. In the last 12 months, more than 300 consultants have referred patients to us. Currently, around two thirds of UK oncologists refer their patients to us for chemotherapy services.
The scale of our business is not the real story however. What sets Healthcare at Home apart is that we’re able to deliver complex care in the comfort of a patient’s own home and there are all kinds of benefits to this. This truly is a patient-centric and patient-appreciated service. Patients generally feel a lot more relaxed at home, have more space and can enjoy a familiar environment. It’s also convenient and hassle-free, removing the need for lengthy travel to and from the hospital for treatments with patients often relying on relatives to take time off to provide transport and support. Their risk of infection is also reduced if treatment can be provided in the home. We take away the need for patients to spend hours travelling, instead our nurses will arrive at a time convenient to the patient and provide the care required. The comfort, convenience and flexibility we offer are really appreciated by our patients and their loved ones.
Increasing our support for consultants
We have recently introduced a new support role – The Consultant Engagement Manager (CEM). We now have five Consultant Engagement Managers providing each of our consultants with a port of call to offer support around their private practices. Each CEM has an excellent understanding of the industry and the service Healthcare at Home provides. They are also responsible for identifying new consultants to the market and those that haven’t previously referred patients to home care.
We have been providing private cancer therapies in the home for over 25 years and there is an enormous team that supports consultants and their patients. We have 150 chemotherapy nurses in-house across the UK and we treat over 2,500 private patients every year. We care for a similar number to that of other large private cancer centres and we treat 100 different cancer areas. We also have clinical nurse specialists who provide much-needed holistic care to patients, offering advice and holistic support organisations. In addition to those directly involved in providing care to the patient, we have an extensive network of regional team managers and clinical service managers who are always on hand to assist consultants and ensure our patients receive the very best service.
Another new role we have created and successfully tested is the Patient Liaison Lead (PLL). They will be based at our Burton-upon-Trent head office and will be a critical point of contact to ensure all aspects of the patient’s care is effectively coordinated across our consultants and clinical teams. They will register patients, schedule appointments and be a key contact for our consultants to ensure they and their patients have everything they need. We will always ensure everything is in place to make each treatment a success and I want our patients to think that we’re almost telepathic about their needs as a result of this patient liaison lead role. It’s an exciting time and the changes we have made have been incredibly well received by both consultants and patients.
Consultants will receive the very best service from us, every time, all the time
Consultants can expect a highly efficient and quality service as we’re working together as a single team. They will be liaising with only one or two people within Healthcare at Home. They will receive closed loop communication which means that if they talk to us about a patient and then send a follow-on email – we will acknowledge this and we’ll continue to keep consultants informed about what’s happening with their patients.
In terms of technology, we offer the iQemo system free to all our consultants. It’s an external system that we use as our primary choice of software to manage patient registrations. iQemo is also an electronic prescribing system which enables consultants to log details about their patients including the therapy they have been referred for and the drugs that are required. When this electronic referral lands in our system, we’re then able to process this and admit or register patients.
iQemo is an incredibly efficient system that isn’t unique to Healthcare at Home but it’s certainly one that is very well received by our consultants. It just makes life easier for them. Consultants can also expect that we provide a very reliable, safe and efficient service. At Healthcare at Home, patient safety is paramount and we take it very seriously.
Here’s an example of feedback from a consultant oncologist that refers patients to us:
“Healthcare at Home provides patients with a safe, effective and friendly service which helps me manage their cancer better,” – Professor Joe O’Sullivan.
We were delighted to hear this. We want our users, both consultants and patients, to feel served by our process, not processed by the service. Personal relationships and earned trust are at the core of what we do.