The Hunts Community Cancer Network (HCCN) has developed an innovative approach to delivering enhanced home-based nursing services to patients recovering from or living with cancer in Huntingdonshire.

To better support patients’ progress, track their participation in classes and monitor any changes in their health and wellbeing, HCCN has partnered with Aseptika Ltd, a local innovator based in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire. The partnership is to offer the enhanced "Get Active" programme, to avoid the recurrence of cancer through rehabilitation, wellness classes, peer-support and mentoring.

The support was initially provided through a collaboration comprising the Hunts Community Cancer nursing team, St Neots Community Learning centre, the HCCN charity and volunteers. Together they have developed a framework for cancer rehabilitation classes to be led by a qualified personal trainer who is a former oncology nurse. The classes are a hybrid between Phase 3 and Phase 4 rehab services which take place three times per week and are free to patients.

A newly formed partnership with Aseptika Ltd has enabled HCCN to offer their Activ8rlives (A8) platform, a BuddyBand2 activity tracker, to patients and integrate the Cloud-based system with the Clinician’s A8 Portal to monitor adherence to exercise and to see any warning signs of relapse.

Eastern Academic Health Science Network (Eastern AHSN) has been supporting both the Hunts Community Cancer Network since April and Aseptika Ltd to expand the functionality of the A8 system to more comprehensively track patient progress. Increasing report automation allowed HCCN to release time for nursing staff to engage directly with more patients, providing additional education, mental and emotional support during treatment or post recovery. The Eastern AHSN has also provided the team with access to Patient Activation Measure licenses, to monitor and measure the impact of the programme for those participating.

Victoria Corbishley, Director of Transformation at the Eastern AHSN, said: "We were delighted to be working with the Hunts Community Cancer Network, bringing together the needs of our local population and innovators, to develop a blueprint for great care for cancer patients in the region." 

HCCN is in the process of establishing a new partnership with Huntingdonshire District Council to establish a new phase 4 cancer rehabilitation class to support patients to graduate to ongoing community-based exercise, releasing capacity for HCCN to support patients who have an active cancer diagnosis.

Kevin Auton, Director of Aseptika Ltd, said: "As an innovator what makes this new approach so exciting is to witness that ‘light bulb’ moment when technology and healthcare come together to empower patients. You see with your own eyes how their care gets transformed when they have the right skills, confidence and support to take ownership of their health and wellbeing.

"Eastern AHSN played a pivotal role by providing the pump-priming funding to facilitate the roll-out of this innovative solution with the Hunts Community Cancer Network and now with Huntingdonshire District Council. Without this funding and backing from the Eastern AHSN, we could not have got started."

Susan Moore, Secretary to Trustee of the Hunts Community Cancer Network, said: "We are pleased with our collaboration with the Eastern AHSN and Aseptika Ltd to enhance our innovative approach and roll it out across the Huntingdonshire area."

Eastern AHSN is supporting HCCN to develop a blueprint for the model, engaging with the East of England Clinical Cancer Network to support adoption and spread in the region.