Translation of Research in to Policy and Practice:
Patient Engagement within the northeast of Scotland and the UK: The establishment of UCAN (Urological CANcer charity) in partnership with NHS Grampian and the Academic Urology Unit, marked a shift towards increased and targeted provision of evidence-based support to patients with urological cancer and their families. The establishment of the UCAN Cancer Care Centre and associated services has had a direct impact on clinical practice, facilitating communication between patients, their families and healthcare professionals, as well as among patients and healthcare professionals. Currently, the UCAN Cancer Care Centre provides ample time and a private, non-clinical environment for breaking bad news, as well as immediate access to informational and emotional support from the experienced staff working in the centre.
The services provided by UCAN form a model of integrated cancer care and support. Informed by research evidence and best clinical practice and developed in consultation with patients and their families, this model embodies the notions of patient-centred medicine and evidence-based medicine recognised as guiding principles for the design and delivery of healthcare services in many western nations. Integrated with the patient care pathway, combining various information and support tools and services and acknowledging an active role of healthcare professionals as educators, the UCAN model addresses the diversity and individuality of patients’ needs and preferences. As such it offers a personalised approach to the provision of care and support to those affected by cancer.
AUU has worked in partnership with UCAN to achieve patient engagement in research on urological cancer within the northeast of Scotland. The medium to long-term ambition is to scale up this engagement beyond the involvement of patient participants in research projects to an effective model of patient engagement that allows us to achieve the ambition of the effective translation of research in to policy and practice. One goal for the programmes of work conducted in partnership between AUU and UCAN is the transformation of care in remote and rural locations.