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Clinical Psychology Cancer Service shortlisted for HSJ Award

The Clinical Psychology Cancer Service at King’s Mill Hospital, provided by the Trust and Sherwood Forest Hospitals, has been shortlisted in the HSJ’s Mental Health Innovation of the Year Award.

The prestigious award recognises new ideas and solutions which contribute towards better care for mental health patients. The service was shortlisted for its use of digital technology to enhance psychological therapy for patients living with cancer and other long term health conditions in a hospital setting and to help prevent relapse following therapy.

The service introduced the use of ‘Flo’, a smart-messaging service, for patients on its Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy group programme. The vision was to use smart-messaging to reduce non-attendance, improve health behaviour change and overall emotional wellbeing. Flo offered patients between-session reminders of the group content, home practice and further information about the mindfulness exercises via text.

 An ‘enhanced relapse prevention protocol’ was also developed for patients completing the group, as well as individual therapy. This involves patients rating their emotional wellbeing and receiving support through their mobile phone to manage their difficulties outside of hospital appointments. Flo sends patients messages reminding them of the most important things they have taken from therapy on a weekly basis for six months after treatment is complete.

Dr Sam Malins, Clinical Psychologist and Project Lead said: “We are so excited to have been shortlisted for this award and are very proud of our work. Through using digital technology in psychological therapies, we have seen significant improvements in emotional wellbeing and therapy completion rates. Feedback from patients has included finding Flo a useful reminder, helping to motivate adherence to treatment and reduce feelings of isolation.”

The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony on 6 November 2019.

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