Opening the digital front door to cancer care

My Topol fellowship problem / project:

Digital Health has many benefits, both to the patient and the healthcare team, and the need to employ digital pathways has been promoted across the NHS. Within cancer care, the need for a digital pathway is no less important. However, cancer care is a multi-faceted approach, with many different healthcare teams all inputting into the patient’s journey, which provides its own unique challenges for digital working.

The aim of this project is to provide a framework for cancer services to describe the steps needed to successfully implement a digital service by consulting with all the different healthcare professionals that are involved in the patients’ pathway, to ensure that all their requirements are fulfilled. This framework will help teams avoid the trap of setting up a digital service that is centered on their team alone; rather it will aim to ensure that a service is centred on the patient.

This patient-centered approach will ensure that all the patient’s needs are met and that there is equitable access to the service which is available to all cancer patients, so as not to further widen the digital health divide, but hopefully address it and minimise it.

I am the Information Management & Technology (IM&T) lead Therapeutic Radiographer at the Radiotherapy Department in Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust. In this role, I support the Radiotherapy team with all their digital needs as well as work alongside them to treat cancer patients with high energy X-ray radiotherapy treatment.

I led the department to become fully digital and paperless in 2017, and I also act as the Trust’s Digital AHP link to keep the trust updated on any AHP-related digital developments.

I completed a Master’s degree in Health Informatics at the University of Sheffield in 2018 and I am an active member of the Faculty of Clinical Informatics.