Meet Tracy: Cancer Nursing in Primary Care

I am Tracy Gallacher and I have recently joined Shore Medical Primary Care Network as Lead Cancer Nurse. Prior to this I worked as Lead Cancer Nurse for Poole Hospital and Lung Cancer Nurse Specialist.

My role is unique in that it is the first of its kind. I am very fortunate to be in a newly developed role as I can develop it to meet the needs of our local community. There are currently over 2,600 patients across Shore with a cancer diagnosis. For each person, their cancer journey will be unique, and the support people require may vary depending on their support networks. Part of my role is to ensure patients and their families feel supported within the local community.

 

My key aims:

  • Support and offer cancer care reviews to all patients with a cancer diagnosis
  • Signpost to the correct services ensuring they get the right support at the right time
  • Assessment of acute illness (cancer related) to ensure continuity, treatment support, admission avoidance or referral into secondary care
  • I am very keen to improve the links with secondary care ensuring seamless pathways and care co-ordination
  • Ensuring patients make informed decisions and opportunity to discuss their care – working closely with the palliative care teams to ensure advanced care planning is achieved
  • Referring into counselling teams

My other hat is:

  • Promote awareness that 4 in 10 cancers are preventable
  • We need to be diagnosing all cancers at an earlier stage – 75% of cancers diagnosed at stage 1-2
  • Encourage screening, and working with local communities to ensure people can access the right service at the right time
  • Working closely with Livewell Dorset to encourage lifestyle changes
  • Look at strategic goals and how we deliver these to our local community
  • Education of the existing workforce to improve knowledge and care
  • Raising awareness that in some cases cancer is now a long-term condition and patients should be supported to self-manage

 

Current projects:

  • Prostate screening for black men over 45s with a family history, symptoms
  • Auditing patients diagnosed as an early admission and seeing what we can learn to improve care and practice

Patient Feedback:

 

Hi Tracy

Thank you so much for your time last week when xxxx and I came to Heatherview.

We both found the session really useful and reassuring and I just wanted to thank you for putting in place the actions we discussed so quickly.

I spoke to Peter who completed the necessary paperwork for PIP (personal independence payment) and to Mandy who was completing the Blue badge application. I have received confirmation that the PIP application is being processed.

I also received a call from the hospital radiotherapy doctor who kindly did a telephone consultation about the radiotherapy referral as he was unable to see me for a couple of weeks in clinic and am just awaiting a scan date.

I can’t tell you how reassuring it is to have had everything dealt with so quickly and efficiently by all concerned.

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