Macmillan commissions M·E·L Research project

Last Friday saw friends, family, communities and businesses come together for the world’s largest coffee morning. Macmillan’s Coffee Morning has been running for 28 years and last year raised over £27 million. Fundraising is essential to the organisation, as is continued research and evaluation.

Macmillan commissions M·E·L Research projectThis year’s coffee morning was particularly poignant for M·E·L Research as we are currently undertaking a vital project for Macmillan to evaluate their Integrated Therapy Service at Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust.

The aim of the Macmillan Integrated Therapy Service is to work directly with cancer patients being treated at the Trust, to improve quality of life, and to offer support and upskill generalist therapy staff at the Trust and in the community on cancer therapy.

The Macmillan Therapy Team was established in 2001 to cover specific wards at Royal Shrewsbury Hospital. In 2013, Macmillan funded a Project Manager post for two years to oversee the development of a new service model, the Macmillan Integrated Therapy Service. This then led directly to Macmillan implementing two new Assistant Practitioner posts from 2014 to 2017.

Following the implementation of these new roles and informed by the 2016 National Cancer Patient Experience survey showing a variance in the quality of patients’ experiences, Macmillan Cancer Support, in partnership with Shrewsbury and Telford Hospitals Trust, commissioned an evaluation of the performance of the Macmillan Integrated Therapy Service.

Our approach
Commissioned by Macmillan, we are in the midst of delivering a robust and independent assessment of whether the programme delivers as expected. Beyond the service itself, we are also looking at the impact and outcomes from the service, and the difference it makes. Our aim is to provide evidence and identify key lessons to help the service improve patients’ lives even more.

It is important to Macmillan that we engage with a wide range of people throughout this project, drawing out the widest views. To evaluate the service from several angles, we are adopting a mixed method approach, combining existing local evidence, including the journeys of actual patients,  with new qualitative evidence. We want to make the most of data already available, while filling in the gaps.

Our approach is supported by a hand selected team that includes our Head of Research, Adam Knight-Markiegi, and medical consultant knowledge from Dr Alexis Macherianakis, our Clinical Lead. Our expertise in research and evaluation, paired with Alexis’s experience in healthcare, enables us to deliver insight underpinned by a wealth of knowledge.

For more information on our work in Health & Wellbeing, including project case studies, click here.

MRS Evidence Matters