King, Nigel, Melvin, Jane, Brooks, Joanna, Wilde, David and Bravington, Alison (2013) Unpicking The Threads: How specialist and generalist nurses work with patients, carers, other professionals and each other to support cancer and long-term condition patients in the community. Project Report. University of Huddersfield.

This report presents the findings of a study carried out between January 2009 and December 2012 in one metropolitan borough in the north of England. The central focus of the research was specialist and generalist nurses’ experiences of collaborative working in relation to the support of cancer and long-term condition patients. To explore this topic we used an innovative interview tool – the Pictor technique – to gather visual representations of people’s networks of roles and relationships involved in specific instances of the provision of patient care and support. We define collaborative working as occurring when two or more professionals from different professional groups are required to interact to ensure that appropriate care is delivered to a service user.
The overall aim of the study was:
To examine how generalist and specialist nurses work with each other, with other professionals and with patients and carers to support cancer and longterm condition patients.
Specific objectives were:
1. To examine what helps and hinders effective collaborative working for generalist and specialist nurses;
2. To compare experiences of collaborative working in relation to cancer patients with those relating to LTC patients;
3. To consider the implications of these findings for the development of services to support cancer survivors.
The emphasis on cancer patients in objective 3 reflects the focus of Macmillan as a charity concerned with supporting people with cancer.

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