Cancer is the leading cause of death in Northern Ireland with one in three of the population affected by the age of 75. However, more people are now surviving cancer due to the many improved treatment options available.
Both the increase in cancer activity and survivorship presents the South Eastern Health & Social Care Trust with a significant challenge to deliver responsive cancer services that are effective, efficient and sustainable while continuing to maintain and further develop high quality services.
The investigation and treatment of people with cancer is becoming ever more complex and services reflect the need for prevention, early detection, diagnosis, treatment, maintenance of remission and palliative care. The Trust’s ultimate goal is the continued improvement of the quality of the cancer patient’s experience across the full spectrum of that experience. This should include continuous improvement in cancer survival rates.
The Cancer Service mission statement is outlined below:-
'Our aim is to continue to provide and develop high quality, accessible and equitable cancer services to the population, which the Trust serves taking account of regional and national best practice.'
The Trust provides services for adults (either full or partial) in respect of the following cancers
- Skin Cancers
- Head and Neck
- Upper Gastrointestinal
Support services also include:
- Mac Dermott Haematology /Oncology Chemotherapy Day Unit
- Cancer Clinical Trials
- Psychology Service
- Macmillan Information and Support Service
- Macmillan Benefits Advice Service
- Macmillan Move More Physical Activity Programme (North Down & Ards)
- Cancer Focus Counselling Service
- Palliative Care
Referral and Follow Up
A large number of referrals are generally from General Practitioners, however, some patients are diagnosed with cancer while they are in hospital and are then referred to the appropriate clinical team.
Patients are followed up after diagnosis and treatment depending on the type and stage of their cancer. The aim of review is to detect tumour recurrence or complications of treatment. Patients may be followed up by the medical team or a Clinical Nurse Specialist and some patients are suitable to self-manage their condition with rapid access back to the clinical team if required.
We recognise that there are a growing number of people living with and beyond cancer and our services aim to provide individualised support and advice to enable patients to resume as healthy and normal a life as possible following cancer treatment. Our aim is to optimise quality of life for patients following their cancer diagnosis and use this diagnosis as an opportunity to encourage a healthy lifestyle and develop a preventative health care strategy.
Regional Cancer Services
The Belfast Health & Social Care Trust have developed a microsite providing information on regional cancer services.
To access the site, please click here.