Quality Improvement

This category is for nominees and teams who have made significant improvements to an existing service for people living with cancer.


Ulster University

Nurses play a significant role in person-centred care for cancer patients.

In order to provide evidence of this, Ulster University, funded by Macmillan, co-produced a study across six chemotherapy units in Northern Ireland known as the CIP-CAN project (Co-producing and Implementing Person centred Key Performance Indicators in Cancer Nursing).

Eight unique person-centred KPIs (key performance indicators) and a measurement framework were developed from previous research by Professor Tanya McCance and colleagues, and used to find out about patients’ experience of being cared for in the chemotherapy units.

People affected by cancer worked alongside the nursing teams on the units and used an app to gather the patients’ experiences and stories.

Important findings of the study include the importance of creating a culture that inspires staff to flourish and how critical it is that nurses involve patients in decisions about their care and find out what really matters to them.

What the winners say

‘Patients really trusted the peer facilitators because they knew they had been through a similar experience. Patients knew they could be honest about their care – it was a safe space.’ - Brighide Lynch, Macmillan Project Coordinator

CIP CAN Team, Quality Improvement winners 2021
Image: CIP CAN Team


Macmillan Head and Neck CNS Team

University Hospitals Sussex NHS Foundation Trust

The Macmillan Head and Neck Clinical Nurse Specialist Team at Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals found out patients weren’t getting the support they needed and set about improving the service, despite the organisation being in financial special measures. 

They secured Macmillan funding for advanced disease CNS Robyn Payne and redesigned the service by acting on patient feedback. Amy Gough runs a nurse-led thyroid cancer clinic which offers a more responsive service to patients and reduces consultant follow-up.

Nat Sarens has developed a clinic for patients receiving chemotherapy and radiotherapy, which prevents admissions and enables more patients to finish treatment successfully. Robyn offers individualised support to patients with advanced disease in her clinics. The team achieved all this while being redeployed during Covid.

What the winners say

‘The redesign has had a huge impact on patients’ lives. I think it’s really important to recognise people who are making a difference like this alongside their day job, with limited resources and funding.’ - Sarah Randall, Macmillan Nurse and Support Worker Lead

Macmillan Head and Neck CNS Team, Quality Improvement winners 2021
Image: Macmillan Head and Neck CNS Team



To view all the Quality Improvement Excellence finalists watch the video below.