A BRAND new nursing role in Lanarkshire is benefiting patients with blood diseases.
Jane Robertson is NHS Lanarkshire’s first ever associate haematology clinical nurse specialist.
Following advanced training Jane is able to perform bone marrow tests and deliver chemotherapy.
She also provides a venesection service – which removes blood to reduce excessive iron levels.
These services are benefiting haematology patients throughout Lanarkshire by reducing waiting times and providing a single point of contact throughout their treatment.
Jane, who is based at Monklands Hospital, said: “This is a challenging role and I’m delighted to be part of the haematology team dedicated to providing an improved service to patients with blood disorders.
“It’s certainly resulted in quicker diagnosis and treatment for these patients.”
The bone marrow test – where you remove some bone marrow to diagnose blood diseases and certain types of cancer - is one traditionally undertaken by doctors.
This is the first time in Lanarkshire there has been a nurse with the advanced clinical skills – following training supported by consultant haematologists and lead haematology-oncology nurse Teresa Rennie – to offer this service.
In addition to quicker diagnosis and treatment, patients also benefit from having a familiar face to deal with throughout their care.
Jane, who stays in Larkhall, said: “By also being able to carry out chemotherapy, I can see patients from before diagnosis right through to treatment and recovery.
“This post allows me to get to know the patient and provide care, support and advice right through their treatment pathway and they become more comfortable asking questions about their treatment.”
The venesection service offered by Jane is also improving patient care.
She said: “Haemochromatosis is a condition which causes too much iron to be absorbed in the body which, if left untreated, can potentially damage your organs.
“Venesection removes blood to reduce the excess iron.
“By looking at ways to improve patients’ outcomes we’ve linked up with the smoking cessation service and by bringing this support to the patients they often respond positively.”
A recent patient satisfaction survey on the service found patients were very satisfied with the care they received.
Lead Macmillan Haematology-Oncology Nurse for NHS Lanarkshire Teresa added: “The development for Jane’s post is a first for Lanarkshire and puts patients’ needs at the top of our agenda.
“Through continual auditing of the service we will ensure high quality of care for our patients which is based on evidence and clinical effectiveness.”