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World-class care during Covid-19 – is this still achievable?

A compelling article by Louise Pardon, our talented SABR specialist radiographer, the GenesisCare teams continue to adopt and deliver cancer care safely for patients.

While the past 4 months may have been a fog of zoom calls and home schooling for many, there has been a silent crisis going unspoken in the world of cancer. Over 2 million people in the UK were left waiting for cancer screening, tests and treatments in the first 10 weeks of lockdown and that figure has been growing.

The fight against cancer is convoluted and challenging at the best of times, let alone throwing a pandemic into the mix, but it’s a battle we should continuously strive to defy. Our new norm shouldn’t be compromised care or being afraid to push the boundaries, it should be innovative and leading the way to exceptional care and improved outcomes.

Cancer doesn’t stop for a pandemic, cancer doesn’t take a break to give you a quick holiday abroad, it’s a dominant news story across our TVs that we all need to face together. At GenesisCare we haven’t let Covid-19 stand in our way in delivering world-class care and I’ve been proud to share my experiences and stories over the past few months that have shaped the future of cancer care.

During my career as a Radiographer, I never thought one could feel the array of emotions I’ve experienced, the sense of chaos and calm all at the same time and the draw of being needed and achieving for someone else…instead of just for you being so prevalent. Being a Therapeutic Radiographer is an extremely rewarding job, but during Covid-19 this privilege has reached new heights.

I specialise in Stereotactic Ablative Radiotherapy treatment delivery and over the past 9 months its been my role to improve access to SABR treatment across the UK. There has been no time like the present where SABR treatment has been so pivotal in controlling cancer, safely and effectively. Where recently surgery hasn’t been a viable option for many, SABR treatment; delivering highly targeted dose over just a few days, has given us a non-invasive treatment option in the ongoing battle to control cancer.

I feel proud to have been able to deliver the same, if not higher level of care and support to our patients over the past few months. Giving them access to treatment options of just 3-5 days of Radiotherapy instead of a long course or palliative care has been a reward in itself. Our shielding patients have taken guidance and advice with such grace and dignity, they have conformed to temperature checks and mask wearing without a whisper of resistance and I thank each and every one of them for making this unprecedented time so manageable.

Our patients are the true unsung heroes of this pandemic and together we should continue to fight in the face of adversity.