I am happy to pronounce that the new BAHNON website is now up and running with the ability to sign up for membership online and apply to attend the bi-annual conference via the site. It has taken blood, sweat and tears to get to this point so I hope you will use the site to share ideas, policies, events and research with your colleagues in the world of H&N. It is your forum to showcase good practice and learn from each other to the benefit of your practice.
The world of Head & Neck cancer is going through huge changes with people living longer as a result of innovative treatments and access to novel drugs. But with this increase in survival comes an increase in the challenges that our patient cohort face on a day to day basis. This is a challenge to the MDT working in this area which can be difficult to negotiate. Each member of the MDT has a voice and I was saddened to read in a report on MDT meetings that the CNS did not speak out in 75% of MDTs attended by the research team. I hope that each of our members feels able to speak out on behalf of patients and acts as an advocate, negotiating the most appropriate treatment options for the individual. It is a privilege to nurse someone undergoing the toughest treatment whether that is for cure or palliation and we owe it to our patients and carers to use this to their advantage.
I am also conscious that the nursing workforce within H&N cancer is under pressure to cope with an increase in new diagnoses, the consequent increase in treatment toxicities and the changing demographic of the caseload. Support for you is equally important as the support you give to your patients. Make time to attend clinical supervision, recognise when you feel overwhelmed by your caseload, understand your own limitations and congratulate yourself on doing an excellent job! If you don’t look after yourself, you can’t look after your patients.
I look forward to seeing as many of you as possible at our conference in Glasgow on 14th June 2019 which promises to be really interesting and informative. There are a number of grant options to assist with the cost of attendance including BAHNON for members and Macmillan.
BAHNON Chair & Treasurer