Nikie Jervis, specialist nurse at Neuroendocrine Cancer UK, won 3rd poster prize at the UKINETS conference 2020 for her work on ‘Zoom-ing in on Natters: Neuroendocrine Cancer UK (NCUK) Patient Support Groups during COVID pandemic’. Nikie highlighted the strength that peer to peer support can have through challenging times from the view point of those attending the NCUK Natter groups, and what the future could hold for online support.
The work also highlighted that 55% of attendees reported improvements in physical and psychosocial well-being: improved self-confidence, understanding of diagnosis (tests & treatments), self-management, communication with both family and healthcare teams and reduced isolation.
She also gave an oral presentation on the ‘COVID-19 & My Care’ NCUK survey, which offers an insight into the impacts of COVID-19 on the UK neuroendocrine cancer community. What is striking is the significant impact in terms of health anxiety and psychosocial well-being – even for those, who are reasonably well and usually seen less frequently. Whilst it is reassuring to note that many patients have been able to maintain access to healthcare and contact their teams, for others there have been delays and cancellations of appointments, investigations and / or treatments – some with no further plans made, leaving them feeling adrift.