The team is made up of:
- 2 Consultant Clinical Oncologists
- Radiotherapy Planning Radiographer
- Medical Secretary
- ST5 medical trainee
- OT – completing holistic needs assessments within clinic
The approach at Velindre NHS Trust was that the clinic was held once a week for the duration of the pilot on a Wednesday afternoon, staffed by a team lead by a clinical oncology consultant. The clinic is teaching clinic providing opportunity to Oncology Trainees and Radiographers to develop skills in the Radiotherapy Planning process. Patients had the option to be reviewed virtually or face to face, however due to the process of the clinic with the option for same day Radiotherapy Planning it was assumed that most patients would be reviewed face to face in the outpatient clinic in line with this process. The main focus of the clinic would be to review the patient for consideration of palliative radiotherapy. Although the clinic can also support for patients who need an urgent, general oncology review to support decision making, overall care plans and is linked to the MUO/CUP patient pathways.
It was thought that the development of this service would enable to meet the need to provide patients with an urgent outpatient review with an oncologist to manage difficult symptoms, discuss general questions and consider palliative radiotherapy. Traditionally, this would be managed within the site-specific team that is responsible for the care of the patient, but this is not always possible. Some patients may not be known to an oncologist, may be booked into already full clinics or have a delay until they are seen. Delays may impact on their experience/prolong symptoms or result in admission, e.g. via the Velindre Cancer Centre assessment unit.