Quincy Williams is the Oncology Modern Matron at Cromwell Hospital. An experienced nursing practitioner, Quincy’s oncology nursing specialty training was completed in Southern Indiana, USA, in 2013. He moved to the UK in 2018 and says: “My work in oncology has helped me build an amazing professional relationship with the Cromwell Hospital family.”
B: What do you believe sets Cromwell Hospital apart in terms of its Oncology and private cancer treatment?
Quincy Williams: As a private cancer centre, we provide personalised, individualised patient care. I think what sets us apart is that we can actively treat patients within two weeks of diagnosis, without delay.
B: What is your role in ensuring patients receive the best and highest standard of treatment at all stages of their journey?
QW: My role is to be a patient advocate from the start to the conclusion of a patient’s cancer journey, whether they are coming from overseas or locally. Ensuring that the patients are accurately assessed before, during, and after treatment is vital.
B: How do you make cancer patients comfortable during the different stages of their treatment?
QW: We work as a team to ensure that all our patient needs are met. Our excellent catering team provides a bespoke menu for patients of all cultures and nationalities. Our staff appreciates the amount of time they can spend with their patients. They get to know them on a more personal note. The MDT plays an integral role throughout the patients’ journey. We also have a make up service as well to promote positive body image.
We have achieved the Macmillan Quality Environment Mark (MQEM), receiving the maximum score (5/5) for both ‘service experience’ and ‘user journey’. The MQEM awards hospitals that champion cancer environments that go above and beyond to create welcoming and friendly spaces and we are proud to win an award that was designed in collaboration with people living with cancer. Our accreditation enables the Clinical Nurse Specialists to make sure the unit meets and exceeds national requirements.
We are also the first private hospital in the UK to be awarded the Gold Standards Framework Quality Hallmark Award in End of Life Care. In recognition of this work, the End of Life Care team won the Bupa Global Gratitude Award in May 2022.
Alongside treatment, we offer Macmillan cancer counselling to support patients and their families, including children. Counselling sessions are led by Helen Storey, a qualified psychotherapist and cancer counsellor with over 30 years’ experience.
Although each patient will have a lead oncology consultant throughout their journey, they’ll also benefit from our multidisciplinary approach to care. Our expert team includes oncologists, surgeons, radiologists, haematologists, clinical nurse specialists and applied health professionals, such as physiotherapists, occupational therapists, and dietitians.
We recognise that our Clinical Nurse Specialists (CNSs) are essential to the care of our patients, and that’s why we ensure that our CNSs are involved in all new clinics and pathways, such as our new Head and Neck Survivorship Clinic, which is the first private clinic of its kind in the UK.
We also have a specialist oncology ward and chemotherapy day unit.
B: Can you provide a step-by-step guide to what happens after a patient first contacts Cromwell Hospital? What can patients and their families expect at each stage?
QW: Yes – it’s important that people know what to expect at every step. When a patient contacts the hospital, they are directed either to one of our CNSs or consultants, depending on their needs. An appointment is then scheduled with the consultant to arrange the necessary diagnostics. Once the results of the tests are back, a treatment plan is made, using a whole-team approach to ensure the best patient outcomes according to national guidance. The patient is then seen by the CNS to find out about other services available to them including complementary massage therapy, chaplaincy, counselling, and hair preservation.
It’s important to note that continuity of care is vital - patients are assigned to a dedicated consultant, experienced and specialised in treating their respective illness.
All members of the multidisciplinary team are actively involved in a patient’s treatment journey. We provide an out-of-hours emergency number and we ensure that patients’ families are included in everything we do.
We are currently trialling a new app called Vinehealth, which tracks patient symptoms and how they are affected by their therapy, as well helping them with programmes about living well after cancer.
We believe long-term care is important – while patients tend to be in our care for three to six months, they’re then provided with supportive treatment for a year or more afterwards.