Dedicated Clinical Nurse Specialist support at HCA Healthcare UK

From the moment you are diagnosed with cancer, we are dedicated to providing you with exceptional care, and the support you need to navigate your diagnosis and treatment.

Central to this care is our team of Clinical Nurse Specialists (CNS). Working closely with your chosen consultant, you’ll receive the dedicated support of a named Clinical Nurse Specialist. They will be there to ensure you receive the highest quality, personalised care, from the time you are diagnosed, throughout your treatment and afterwards.

Nurse with patient
Team meeting

About the role of Clinical Nurse Specialists

Clinical Nurse Specialists are expert nurses who specialise in specific types of cancer and their associated treatments. They understand the impact of a cancer diagnosis and treatment, and are there to give you and your loved ones the support, advice and care that’s right for you. You will usually meet your CNS when you are given your diagnosis or during your first consultation.

Your named CNS is an integral part of your clinical team. They will coordinate your care with the wider  team, providing medical, practical and emotional support throughout your treatment, care, and afterwards. They can also refer you to other specialists who are here to support you, such as physiotherapists, dieticians, or other healthcare professionals, when needed.

Point of contact

When you are diagnosed with cancer, and begin your treatment, there is a lot of information to take in. Sometimes it’s difficult to remember everything that is discussed at your appointments. If, at any time, you have questions about your diagnosis or care, would like something explaining in more detail, or need some more time to discuss your treatment options, your CNS will be on hand to support you.

"The care that I have received through all the team, and I should mention Sarah, my CNS, in particular, has been just fabulous. One of the good things has been the level of contact. Sarah will keep in touch over whatsapp, which is what I prefer, to send updates or answer questions. Unfortunately, last year we had postal strikes as well, so I said to Sarah, do me a favour, drop me an email instead. So yes, one of the best things has been just the level of reassurance with contact, it makes a huge difference to your sense of wellbeing and of being looked after."

Paul, melanoma patient

Oncology patient speaking with nurse

With you at every stage

Your CNS is there to support you at every stage of your treatment and follow up care, ensuring you receive holistic, personalised care that addresses all aspects of your health and well-being. They will make sure your voice is heard, that your wishes are communicated with the wider clinical team, and reflected in your care plan. As you go through treatment they will assess and review your individual needs with you, to ensure that your care plan continually reflects any changing needs. If you have any questions or concerns about your treatment or care please feel free to contact your CNS to talk these through.

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Physical and emotional support

For some people, periods of sadness and anxiety can arise during and after treatment. Your CNS can offer emotional support and refer you to healthcare specialist colleagues, such as counsellors and psychologists if needed.

My Clinical Nurse Specialist, Rachel, is fantastic - she’s been there every step of the way, and she gets me; she gets my good days and my bad days. I couldn’t have gone through this without her. I haven’t got enough words to praise her with, I don’t think I will ever forget Rachel. I remember the day I rang the end of treatment bell, it was about 6.30pm and she had finished her shift, but she stayed and waited for me to ring it. It’s her compassion and empathy, she has a heart of gold, and nothing is too much trouble for her.

Nikki, ovarian cancer patient

Receiving treatment for cancer can be physically challenging. CNSs can support you with managing any side-effects of treatment, advise on any adjustments that can be made to reduce symptoms and improve quality of life, and refer you to other healthcare experts for specialist support.