Monitoring the impact of our work

Cancer nurse Anne-Marie

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Monitoring the impact of our work

The Irish Cancer Society (the Society) provides 17 programmes and services across the 4 stages of cancer – cancer prevention, cancer support, cancer survivorship and palliative care. We want to know if our programmes and services are making a difference to those who use them. Asking people about their experiences helps us to understand the needs of those affected by cancer so we can improve our programmes and services. 

How we measure impact

We ask service users to complete surveys after using our programmes or services. We have more information on how the Impact Monitoring programme collects and uses data.

2019 Summary Report
Downloadable document
Irish Cancer Society Service Impact Report 2019
Irish Cancer Society Service Impact Report 2019
This report describes our programmes and services and gives a summary of the impact monitoring project. It also outlines the main impact findings from 2019.
What we found in 2019
Our cancer prevention programmes and services

We Can Quit

We Can Quit is a free, friendly and supportive 12-week programme, which helps women to quit smoking and stay quit for good. The programme offers free nicotine replacement therapy (NRT), a weekly smoking cessation group and one to one support. 

2 out of 3 women (66%) quit smoking by the end of the 12 week programme.

“Attending the programme has made me accountable as I didn’t want to come to the group and to say I had relapsed.”

Fit for Work and Life

The Fit for Work & Life programme is a community health promotion and well-being programme working with members of the community to encourage and support healthy choices, facilitating participants to be fit for both their work and personal life.

More than 7 out of 10 respondents said they would describe their health status as ‘informed’ and ‘supported’.

“It was good to learn how the little things can help the most.”

X-HALE

X-HALE is an Irish Cancer Society initiative that aims to prevent young people from smoking through educating and empowering young people, youth leaders and educators.

83% of respondents said they are non-smokers.

“It meant a lot because I got to learn about the dangers of smoking. I really enjoyed the learning experience.”

Prevention Publications

We publish a full range of booklets, leaflets and resources on cancer information and support, cancer prevention and more. You can download them on our website or obtain them in print format from our Daffodil Centres, our Cancer Nurseline Freephone 1800 200 700 or affiliated support centres.

3 out of 4 respondents (75%) said they felt the amount of information was about right.

“It’s helped me to try to eliminate every possible risk to prevent recurrence of my cancer.”

Prevention website information

The Society provides reliable and accessible information on our website. A total of 15% of the information on our website is cancer prevention information. Our website has been providing cancer information to the public since 1999.

8 out of 10 said it was easy to find what they were looking for.

“It has given me more incentive to quit smoking knowing there is more help if I need it.”

Cancer Information Services – Cancer Nurseline and Daffodil Centres

Our Cancer Information Services comprise of our Cancer Nurseline and Daffodil Centres.

The Cancer Nurseline is a Freephone helpline staffed by cancer nurses. It provides support, advice and information to patients, carers, the general public as well as healthcare professionals.

Daffodil Centres are cancer information and support centres located in 13 hospitals nationwide. They are staffed by cancer nurses and specially trained volunteers. The centres provide face-to-face advice, help and support on cancer prevention information. They are strategically located in central areas of hospitals with a high footfall.

More than 8 out of 10 people (84%) said they were worried about their risk of developing cancer.

“I feel more confident about making changes for the better. I don’t want to get cancer.”

Our cancer support programmes and services

The Volunteer Driver Service

The Volunteer Driver Service has been in operation since 2008. It provides free transport for cancer patients to and from their chemotherapy treatments as well as any chemo-related appointments. Patients must be attending one of the partnered hospitals of the service. 

More than 9 out of 10 respondents (93%) said using the service reduced the financial burden related to travelling to hospital appointments.

“It has meant everything and taken the pressure off me and my family and helped me to concentrate on my health.”

Financial Support Programme

Our financial support programme for children and their families aims to help cancer patients under the age of 18, and their families, who are unable to meet the specific financial burden that has come about as a direct result of their illness. This is a limited fund.

Over a third of people (37%) said it would be ‘difficult’ to attend their children’s hospital appointments without the Financial Support Programme.

“We had a round trip of 340 km every day for 30 days of radiotherapy. This was after spending 48 nights in hospital for different surgeries.  Having received the money it took the pressure off the household and helped to cover the travelling costs.”

Travel2Care

Travel2Care is a limited transport support fund, made available by the National Cancer Control Programme (NCCP) and administered by the Society. The fund is available to cancer patients who are experiencing financial difficulty and travelling over 50km one way to designated cancer hospitals for tests and/or treatment appointments.

Nearly all the respondents (94%) said that receiving Travel2Care helped to reduce the financial burden of getting to hospital appointments.

“The main benefit was not standing at a bus stop getting wet which is not suitable for cancer patients.”

Website Support Information

Making available reliable and accessible cancer information is one of our key aims. We provide cancer information through our website. A total of 12% of the information available on our website is cancer support information. Our website has been providing cancer information to the public since 1999.

Nearly 8 out of 10 people (77%) said they felt more knowledgeable about cancer and its treatment after reading the website.

“It gave me peace of mind to questions most asked where the same ones I wanted to know answers to. The website gave me information and pointed us in the right direction to obtain other services when and if needed.”

Support Publications

Our cancer support publications include a full range of booklets and factsheets on cancer types, treatments and side-effects and ways to cope with a cancer diagnosis. Our range of over 50 cancer support booklets includes Who can ever understand?: Talking about your cancer, Talking to children about cancer, Coping with Fatigue as well booklets focusing on individual cancer types.

6 out of 10 people said they understood their treatment and care options after reading their booklet.

“I was given a copy of this booklet in 2009 when I was diagnosed with breast cancer and found it invaluable, dipping in and out as my treatment progressed.  With my sister recently diagnosed, I wanted to refresh my mind on the stages and see what has changed in terms of treatment in the interim.”

Cancer Information Services – Cancer Nurseline and Daffodil Centres

Our Cancer Information Services comprise of our Cancer Nurseline and Daffodil Centres.

The Cancer Nurseline is a Freephone helpline staffed by cancer nurses. It provides support, advice and information to patients, carers, the general public as well as healthcare professionals.

Daffodil Centres are cancer information and support centres located in 13 hospitals nationwide. They are staffed by cancer nurses and specially trained volunteers. The centres provide face-to-face advice, help and support on cancer prevention information. They are strategically located in central areas of hospitals with a high footfall.

More than 8 out of 10 (83%) felt less anxious about their situation after speaking to a cancer nurse.

“The main benefit of my visit was that feeling of support and that you are not alone at any time to talk about cancer. The open door policy promotes accessibility and encouragement to discuss your cancer diagnosis and concerns.  Visiting the Daffodil Centre has given me first-hand experience of a wonderful supportive service. A much needed and appreciated service.”

Our cancer survivorship programmes and services

Prostate Cancer Psycho-Educative Programme

The 6-week Prostate Cancer Psycho-Educative Programme aims to enhance the physical and psychosocial wellbeing and quality of life for prostate cancer survivors. The programme achieves this by identifying and responding to supportive care needs, including coping strategies and managing lifestyle changes.

Over three-quarters of the men (78%) said they understood more about prostate cancer and treatment choices.

“My self esteem has improved and I appreciate how well I am. I was apprehensive about attending, being part of a group program. Warm welcome, supportive throughout, now aware of the facilities and supports available. Gives added bonus of knowing another viable measure of support apart from medics, hospital personnel etc. is available on ones doorstep.”

Living Life

The Living Life programme is an information and peer-support programme for people who have recently been diagnosed with secondary cancer. The programme offers information, support and the opportunity to meet with other people who are living in a similar situation.

6 out of 10 people rated their quality of life as ‘good’ after completing the programme.

“This is the first support group other than Metastatic Breast Cancer. I have found it benefited me to hear the worries and concerns of others. Meeting and talking to others with similar cancers has been very helpful to me.”

Strides for Life

Strides for Life is a 15-week walking programme for cancer survivors. It is based on the “Murphy Cardiovascular (METs) Programme”. Strides for Life brings a participant through a structured walking programme, gradually increasing fitness and training over its course. The programme aims to bring the individual to a level of fitness where they can reduce their risk of recurrence and improve their health and quality of life.

Almost half of respondents said their quality of life was ‘very good’ following the programme.

“It gave me confidence and will power to exercise and feel good. I loved meeting new friends and enjoyed the chats about cancer experiences and non-cancer experiences. Being part of a group has been good especially when you’re taken away from your workplace, friendship, and environment.”

National Conference for Cancer Survivorship: Living Well with Cancer

The Irish Cancer Society runs an annual conference for cancer survivors, their family and friends, healthcare professionals as well as staff and volunteers from community-based cancer support centres. The aim of the conference is to provide information and support to people to live well after a cancer diagnosis.

8 out of 10 felt more hopeful about the future after attending the programme.

“It was great to see a positive atmosphere and see people coping with their diagnosis/treatment.”

Counselling

The Society funds counselling sessions for cancer patients through the cancer support centres. Counselling is available for all patients who have had a cancer diagnosis, their family members and significant others such as a friend or a partner. Depending on the circumstances, this can take the form of one-to-one, couple or family counselling.

Three-quarters of respondents (75%) reported relating better to family and friends and nearly 2 out of 3 feel more social after attending counselling sessions.

“It has meant everything to me. Somewhere I am able to feel my feelings without having to bottle them up or worry about upsetting others. It allows me to feel and be me and be supported.”

Cancer Information Services – Cancer Nurseline and Daffodil Centres

Our Cancer Information Services comprise of our Cancer Nurseline and Daffodil Centres.

The Cancer Nurseline is a Freephone helpline staffed by cancer nurses. It provides support, advice and information to patients, those who support them, the general public, those with concerns about cancer as well as healthcare professionals.

Daffodil Centres are cancer information and support centres located in 13 hospitals nationwide. They are staffed by cancer nurses and specially trained volunteers. The centres provide face-to-face advice, help and support on cancer prevention information. They are strategically located in central areas of hospitals with a high footfall.

8 out 10 people said they felt more supported after speaking with a nurse.

More than 9 out 10 people (93%) said they felt motivated to try new things to improve their health.

“I rang after my shocking diagnosis, I hadn't slept and I was in meltdown and alone in the house. After the call, I was calmer, more logical and more empowered to ask key questions at my next visit. I appreciated the honesty and the directness of the responses from the nurse.”

Our Palliative services

Night Nursing service

The Night Nursing service is a home nursing service established by the Society in 1986. The night nurses provide end-of-life care to cancer patients and their families in their own home. The service works to support and advise the patient’s family as well as administer pain relief and provide other nursing care to the patient.

Nearly all respondents said using the service allowed them to rest (96%) and that the Night Nurse treated the patient with respect and dignity (97%).

“The nurse showed dignity and respect at all times. She answered all questions asked by the family in an appropriate manner.”

Cancer Information Services – Cancer Nurseline and Daffodil Centres

Our Cancer Information Services comprise of our Cancer Nurseline and Daffodil Centres.

The Cancer Nurseline is a Freephone helpline staffed by cancer nurses. It provides support, advice and information to patients, those who support them, the general public, those with concerns about cancer as well as healthcare professionals.

Daffodil Centres are cancer information and support centres located in 13 hospitals nationwide. They are staffed by cancer nurses and specially trained volunteers. The centres provide face-to-face advice, help and support on cancer prevention information. They are strategically located in central areas of hospitals with a high footfall.

Nearly 9 out of 10 respondents (87%) said they felt more supported.

“The nurse gave me 100% support. I could not ask for more information, support, advice and honesty. Just knowing I could go back at any time means a great deal.”

How we capture and measure the impact of our services

These are the services we evaluate:

services evaluation graph

How do we find out what our service users thought of our services?

impact monitoring table

For more information

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01 231 0500

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