This week, McKesson UK, parent company of LloydsPharmacy, launched a new healthcare service for cancer patients. Working in partnership with Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, they are helping to reduce hospital visits by administering subcutaneous injections in two community pharmacies.
Patients at Newcastle-Upon-Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust can now choose to receive their breast, lung or lymphoma cancer treatment at one of two LloydsPharmacy branches. If they are identified as suitable by their consultant, patients can make an appointment and have their treatment administered by a specialist nurse meaning fewer visits to hospital.
The new service, which can treat up to 80 patients a month, was launched on Wednesday 22nd April 2020 to Freeman Hospital patients at Lloyds Pharmacy on Benton Road and the Lloyds Pharmacy at Chapel House Health Centre. So far six patients have been assigned to receive treatment from these community pharmacies, five of whom will be receiving treatment for breast cancer and one for lung cancer.
This new service forms part of the LloydsPharmacy Healthcare Centre concept which launched in 2017. It gives patients the choice to access treatment in the community, outside a traditional acute hospital setting. Treatment is administered in a modern and private consultation room by a nurse from LloydsPharmacy Clinical Homecare.
This is the fifth LloydsPharmacy Healthcare Centre. There are others in Scunthorpe, Cardiff, Harrow and Woking.
Sheryl Parkin, healthcare operations manager at McKesson UK, said:
“Going through treatment can be a stressful time for patients and that’s without the added worry of the coronavirus outbreak and for some, having their treatment postponed. Usually, patients will travel to the Freeman Hospital to receive their care which we know can be inconvenient, time-consuming and at present, a cause for concern.
“Through this partnership, we are offering patients an alternative that means they can receive their treatment closer to home, whilst ensuring the same level of safety and care, in a much lower risk environment. Essentially, we’re helping people to continue with the treatment they need with fewer visits to hospital which is more important than ever right now for people with compromised immunity. One of the patients we’ve treated so far said she felt anxious attending the hospital for treatment but that she experienced no anxiety at all when coming to our pharmacy and that instead she felt very relaxed. That’s exactly how we want our patients to feel.”
Phil Powell, directorate manager for the Northern Centre for Cancer Care said:
“This is a great opportunity to help support our patients by providing their care as close to home as possible. It’s an exciting approach, and we see this as an innovative way forward, widening the treatment options available within our chemotherapy services.
“Lots of patients require chronic treatment which can result in their lives revolving around hospital appointments. This can also create cost and capacity challenges for the Trust. By bringing this type of service closer to home we’re enabling patients to lead more normal lives. In this location particularly there’s a lot of patients travelling significant distances to receive treatment so this will make a real difference to them.
“We are incredibly proud to be working with the Freeman Hospital and we hope that by working collaboratively, we will improve our patient’s quality of life whilst helping the Trust to save money and concentrate on more clinically complex cases.”