Membership is open to specialist nurses whose work, or clinical activities, focused on lung cancer patients amounts to over 50% of their employment. Seven years ago the NLCFN had about 40 members. By last year the number had increased to over 200 specialist nurses.
In 2002 a new website, developed by Sequence in conjunction with Astra Zeneca, was set up to offer an updateable online resource for professionals and patients. Along with member contributions to the website, including their experiences in the field, nurses can also access new research studies, news and events, resources and education.
As part of on-going activities, for example, the London and South East Lung Cancer Forum for Nurses (c/o the NHS Trust, Palliative Care Department, Guy’s Hospital, London, UK, has drawn up guidelines on the role of the specialist nurse in supporting patients with lung cancer. (Pub: Blackwell Publishing Ltd: European Journal of Cancer Care 13, 344-348). The recommendations made in these guidelines are based on Government guidelines, in which the NHS Executive reminds health professionals that, despite the very high mortality figure for lung cancer, ‘improved quality of life represents an important therapeutic gain that should not be subsumed by a sense of nihilism or clinical failure’.
On 25-26 November there will be a members-only meeting of the NLCFN, in Chester, UK. However, for our specialist nurse readers in the EU, this information on the forum’s activities may offer inspiration for the setting up such help groups elsewhere, and perhaps a greater international sharing of experiences in this difficult nursing field.
NLCFN details: www.nlcfn.co.uk