Improving Care for Women Impacted by Cancer Treatment 2019

Deadline: 3pm Wednesday 6 November 2019

Background

As highlighted in the National Cancer Strategy 2017-2026, advances in cancer treatment are greatly increasing survival for patients. There are approximately 200,000 cancer survivors in Ireland now and a greater focus on the increasing numbers living with and beyond cancer is required[1]. However, while cancer treatment in Ireland is generally improving, many cancer treatments come at the price of significant, often lifelong, and debilitating impacts on other aspects of health. Particularly for women, surgery, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy can lead to complex challenges, for example, psychological issues, sexual issues, menopausal symptoms, lymphodema, fatigue, and fertility issues.

A growing culture of openness is leading to recognition of these issues and existing deficits in cancer patient support services after diagnosis, including survivorship programmes and psychosocial services[1]. As a result, there is a need to decipher more information on how women are affected by these symptoms and issues and provide better integrated services to manage and overcome these problems. If we are to achieve the best possible outcome after their treatment, then we must develop new resources and models of support services to manage and/or eliminate some of the symptomatic burden experienced by women following cancer treatment.

With this in mind, the Irish Cancer Society, in partnership with the National Cancer Control Programme is advancing a plan to drive development of an integrated, hospital-based resource to provide better management of post-cancer treatment conditions through a 2-year pilot programme.  The core clinic is envisaged to be hospital-based, led by an eminent oncology team, and coordinated and delivered by highly qualified nursing staff and relevant Health and Social Care Professionals coordinated in with relevant care supports. It is envisaged that the clinic will link in with relevant national and international expertise in the area of symptom management and will coordinate national resources to provide bespoke support to match the needs of women following cancer treatment.

[1] The National Cancer Strategy 2017-2026: https://health.gov.ie/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/National-Cancer-Strategy-2017-2026.pdf

Purpose

The purpose of this initiative is to pilot the establishment of an Irish multidisciplinary, research-based public clinic to support and address the needs of women impacted by the effects of cancer treatment, with particular emphasis on psychological issues, sexual issues, menopausal symptoms, lymphodema, fatigue, fertility issues etc. (please see Section 1.3 for more details).

Applications from multidisciplinary teams are invited to tender a 2-year pilot in a hospital setting that can best begin to address these issues.  The pilot will coordinate resources, be readily accessible and address a platform of health-related issues associated with female cancer treatment. The clinic will have strong consultant support but will be practically coordinated by nurse expertise. 

It is envisaged that the pilot clinic will tie in with other opportunities, such as nurse education, community cancer support centres and link with Irish Cancer Society services – e.g. Nurseline, Daffodil centres.

Funding

It is the intention of the Irish Cancer Society and the NCCP to provide funding for one grant in 2019.  This will be subject to the submitted grant proposals meeting the required standard as assessed by international peer review. Any application that does not meet this required standard will be eliminated from the application process. The Improving Care for Women Impacted by Cancer Treatment Award 2019 will provide funding of approximately €250,000 for a project of up to a maximum of 24 months’ duration.

Only proposals with the potential to deliver excellent, informative, and impactful services within the timeframe of the grant will be considered for funding.

How to apply

Eligible applicants can submit an application through the Irish Cancer Society Grant Tracker online system.

Deadline

Submission deadline: 3pm Wednesday 6 November 2019

Documents

Date Last Reviewed: 
Monday, October 14, 2019