CANCER patients in South Warwickshire will be able to access new treatments.
Funding from the Rigby Foundation Group is allowing South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust (SWFT) to recruit a full time clinical research nurse to increase the organisation’s work on potentially lifesaving cancer treatments.
The new role of Rigby Lead Nurse – Clinical Research will lead SWFT’s oncology and haematology team with the aim of improving the effectiveness of the research team. It will enable patients to access enhanced cancer trials and new treatments.
In addition to trust funding for other research support, SWFT will redirect the remaining three of the five year sponsor pledge from the Rigby Foundation to fund the post – a decision fully supported by the Rigby Foundation trustees and chairman and group chief executive Sir Peter Rigby.
The pledge, until now, aimed to create and sponsor the Rigby Awards. The awards encouraged clinicians to propose research and development projects to develop better ways of delivering local cancer care. The successful bids were then awarded funding from the Rigby Foundation to implement vital cancer care projects.
Success stories include SWFT’s joint rehabilitation project with Shakespeare Hospice – Life Beyond Treatment. The project is centred on a support group which identifies what is important to an individual following a cancer diagnosis and treatment. This is to assist people to return to work and daily life. It has been recognised nationally with an abstract being presented at the national Hospice UK conference in November.
SWFT CEO Glen Burley said: “Research is vital to the NHS; there is clear data to demonstrate that research active Trusts are safer and offer patients new treatments they may not be able to access normally. There are many other advantages associated with active research programmes including recruitment and retention benefits.
“The Rigby Awards have been motivational for the staff involved and have helped to positively shift the culture of the organisation. I see the creation of this post as the natural next step.”
Sir Peter Rigby said: “The awards have helped to spark an interest and excitement in healthcare professionals by providing the opportunity to present their own ideas and projects to the panel with the potential of receiving funding to promote and explore further. In essence these have been “research” orientated awards.
“The proposed appointment of a Rigby Lead Nurse – Clinical Research is a great way to spend the remaining money from the funding pledge. The foundation feels this new adventure will continue the rewarding and important relationship it has with SWFT.”