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Award-winning tumour clinic means the world to globetrotter

27 November 2018
A globetrotting TV production specialist treated for a brain tumour is among patients who have given an innovative nurse-led ‘telephone clinic’ the thumbs up for being so convenient.

“During my busy schedule, the telephone clinics have proven invaluable," Mat Wayne

Latest figures show a 95 per cent satisfaction rate with the service which has recently won a national award and seen the numbers of users rise from five to nearly 400. 

Living life to the full, Mat (second right) with, from left to right, translator Ben Kohn, commentator Guy Mowbray and engineer Jon Taylor at the 2018 World Cup in RussiaAmong them was freelance floor manager Mat Wayne, 47, from Norfolk, who took advantage of telephone appointments while overseas last year to assist with the BBC’s coverage of England’s semi-final match against Croatia.

Mat, who underwent surgery in 2013, used the follow-up service while working in Rio on the Olympics, Paris for the football European Championships, and Munich for a Champions League match.

The clinics are led by specialist nurses, Ingela Oberg and Gemma Bullen, who are able to update patients like Mat on scan results, offer advice on progress and discuss next hospital appointments. Mat was identified suitable for the service because his glioma is low grade and slow growing. 

Mat, who trades under the name Showglu, said: “During my busy schedule, the telephone clinics have proven invaluable. I can continue knowing that regardless where I happen to be, Ingela is able to contact me, talk me through my scan results, answer questions and catch up on news.  

“On the occasions that brevity is important, Ingela talks succinctly and tells me I can call for a more thorough briefing when I'm better able. I would struggle to concentrate on my work if it wasn't for this phone clinic. Thank you Addenbrooke’s.”

The service is not just for globetrotters like Mat. Some patients are no longer able to drive and reliant on friends and family for lifts to the hospital. Others are spared the trouble of taking time off work and driving miles for appointments that do not need to be face-to-face with a consultant. 

The service recently received the service improvement award at the Macmillan Professionals Excellence awards in Birmingham, where the judges commented how they loved how the model of care had been switched from consultant to nurse-led for long-term follow-up patients. 

Ingela, a Macmillan neuro-oncology specialist nurse, said: “Travelling to the hospital can bring significant stress for patients and, when appointments can be done over the phone, it makes absolute sense – both for us as a service and the patients. 95 per cent say they are very satisfied or satisfied with the service.

“It’s great to hear stories like Mat carrying on at full speed with his life and for us to help him do so by removing unnecessary hospital appointments. It has also taken significant pressure off consultants, who have more time to see patients who need their level of expertise in clinic or in the operating theatre.” 

Earlier this month, NHS England Medical Director Professor Stephen Powis said in the Royal College of Physicians report that it is time to ‘grasp the nettle’ to help reduce some of the 118 million outpatient appointments every year, many of which he said are unnecessary.