The cancer and palliative care services at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital Foundation Trust were established in 1998 and have been developed in tandem. The hospital merged in 2014 with West Middlesex University Hospital (WMH) and now serves a local population of 1.5 million as Chelsea and Westminster NHS foundation trust (CWHFT).
Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust is one of the top ranked and top performing hospital trusts in the UK. It has 830 inpatient beds across both Chelsea and Westminster hospital and West Middlesex University Hospital and employs over 6,000 staff. It is committed to support all patients with a diagnosis of cancer, regardless of whether they are receiving active treatment or supportive care. There is a holistic and integrated approach to cancer management which is supported by a robust multi-disciplinary team who meet weekly to assess physical, psychological and emotional needs of patients and the most appropriate management.
The cross-site team includes medical and clinical oncologists, palliative care physicians, clinical nurse specialists in palliative care and tumour site specific oncology as well as the cancer information and support manager. The team is supported by the clinical cancer services manager and lead nurse and administrative team to ensure a smooth patient pathway. A comprehensive multi-professional team supports oncology and palliative care.
On each site, the Macmillan Information Centre and The Mulberry Centre provide information, psychological support and complementary therapies to all people with cancer regardless of whether having cancer treatment. Patient support groups are held to help patients and carers during their treatment and beyond.
Chelsea and Westminster NHS Foundation Trust specialises in the oncological management and care of patients with lung cancer, urological and haematological malignancies and is a leading centre for HIV associated malignancy. The centre provides diagnostic services for the majority of other common cancers sharing care with other local cancer centres where appropriate. The cross site acute oncology service specialises in the management of emergency presentations of cancer and complications related to cancer treatment. The trust actively recruits patients to a number of clinical trials.
Palliative and Supportive Care
The Specialist Palliative Care team comprises palliative medicine consultants, clinical nurse specialists in palliative care and is supported by a team of doctors in training as well as occupational therapists and physiotherapists. The team works closely with the Trust’s multi-faith chaplaincy team, a member of which attends the weekly Multi-disciplinary team meeting. The team work across the organisation and offer a comprehensive and holistic symptom assessment and support service for both patients and their family or carers. They also work to ensure a seamless service into primary care liaising with specialist palliative care services in the community as well as the local hospice unit.
There is an integrated oncology and palliative care service where outpatient clinics run simultaneously facilitating joint patient review. Daily acute oncology meetings are attended by both teams and there is a weekly combined multi-disciplinary team (MDT) meeting. The oncology and palliative care teams share quarterly clinical governance meetings, morbidity and mortality meetings, and annual service development planning reviews.
The palliative care team have set up an enhanced supportive care service on both sites where they see patients early following a diagnosis of cancer to ensure all is done to proactively identify symptoms and manage these as effectively as possible.
Last update: November 2020