Upper GI Cancer Pathway Navigator

  • Fixed contract
  • Full time
  • Taunton, Somerset
  • Posted 4 days ago
  • September 23, 2021
  • £25,655 - £31,534

Upper GI Cancer Pathway Navigator

An exciting opportunity has arisen for a confident, enthusiastic and motivated individual to work within the UGI Cancer Services Team at Somerset Foundation Trust on a 12 month fixed term post.

You will directly communicate with patients and their relatives ensuring appropriate and timely access to appointments, advise on any concerns or queries and signpost the patient to relevant and appropriate support. It is essential that you develop close relationships with medical, nursing and allied health professional for each of the Trusts multi-disciplinary teams across sites and within primary care. The role is vital to streamline the patient journey and contribute to the improvement of both quality and experience.

The post holder will act as patient advocate and facilitator to overcome barriers to timely access to UGI services, utilising interpersonal skills and resources across the health service, third sector and local authorities. Close liaison with radiology and endoscopy is essential ensuring investigations are booked, reports are available and staging is complete in time for follow up appointments. The post holder will actively participate in Cancer Wait Time monitoring and ensure patient tracking procedures are followed and kept up to date.



Main duties of the job


  • Enhancing the patient journey throughout their diagnostic pathways is a key priority in order to achieve the National target of referral to diagnosis, or exclusion of cancer within 28 days of GP referral, with close attention to timelines and minimising delays
  • Streamlining the patient journey will enable improved patient outcomes and patient experience through earlier diagnosis of cancer and ensure effective patient centred services.
  • Work collaboratively across primary and secondary care and third sector organisations with responsibility to provide an effective caring and compassionate service to patients to optimise their access to cancer services through close working with MDT teams.
  • They will liaise with patients and their relatives and ensure appropriate and timely appointments are secured and any additional tests are organised prior to their imaging within the Trust
  • To ensure investigations are booked, reports are available, and staging is complete.
  • They will act as patient advocate and facilitator to overcome barriers to timely access to cancer services, utilising interpersonal skills and resources across the health service.
  • Responsible for escalation of any concerns in respect of individual patient pathways that may result in breaches of cancer waiting time standards.
  • Communicating complex issues onwards to the CNS for their management
  • Working alongside the MDT coordinator tracking investigations and ensuring timely discussion at MDT meetings


Working for our organisation


As an organisation, the NHS offers a wide range of benefits including flexible working, pension contributions, market leading annual leave allowance, career progression and regular conversations, not to mention our Blue Light Card and NHS exclusive discounts.

The benefits of working in Somerset include the idyllic countryside, with our areas of outstanding beauty and stunning coastlines. You will get to enjoy these perks whilst still only being a stone’s throw away from bustling city centres like Bristol, Bath and Exeter and only two hours away from London.

There are excellent educational facilities in the area and, when compared to other regions, house prices are reasonable. You will experience the best of both in Somerset, the countryside and the cosmopolitan – there is truly something for everyone!


Detailed job description and main responsibilities

Communication and Key Working Relationships

The post holder will be in regular contact by telephone, letter, email, one to one or at meetings with:

  • Internal Contacts
    • Clinical Nurse specialists
    • Consultants
    • Medical Secretaries
    • MDT Coordinators
    • Radiology Department
    • Endoscopy Department
    • Allied health professionals
    • Cancer support workers
  • External Contacts
    • Primary Care
    • Tertiary hospitals
  • The post holder will liaise with the patient/carers to provide details of next appointments /investigations also following up on any cases where the patient has failed to attend.
  • Work collaboratively across primary care and secondary care to ensure effective identification and flagging of vulnerable patients or those requiring reasonable adjustments to services early in the pathway.
  • Co-ordinate information flow from diagnostic teams to patients, primary care and MDT teams when investigations are required for suspected cancer staging.
  • Provide and receive complex information and use tact, persuasion and negotiating skills as necessary
  • Ability to show empathy and understand difficulties faced by people with cancer
  • Ability to communicate both verbally and written on a daily basis with people at all levels
  • Ability to ask sensitively about information needs
  • Demonstrate appropriate interpersonal and communication skills to liaise with speciality mangers, department leads, medical staff.
  • Triage of incoming calls and initiating responses according to protocols and pathways using excellent communication skills, basic clinical awareness and appropriate tools and procedures. Onward referral where more expertise required
  • Coordinating handover with other teams and hospitals to facilitate safe and effective transition of care between services in order to provide seamless support for patients

Analytical and Judgement

  • Exercise judgement in response to a range of enquiries concerning patient activity which will require comparison of a range of options
  • Demonstrate the ability to recognise and respond appropriately when faced with a sudden deterioration or an emergency situation, alerting the team or enabling rapid response as appropriate
  • Ensuring timely return of investigations / reports requested by medical staff, drawing attention of clinical team to any abnormal or unusual results

Planning and Organisation 

  • Plan and organise the necessary assessments, appointments or investigations to minimise delays through the patient pathway.
  • Document and monitor all aspects of pathway navigation and service delivery, supporting data collection for service improvement and audit
  • To prioritise workload to ensure that up to date information is maintained in order that reports and statistics can be provided as and when required by internal and external bodies
  • Plan and prioritise their own work load when necessary adjusting and re-arranging schedules where organisational requires/demands it.

Professional Responsibilities and Development

  • Work within a multi-disciplinary team
  • Develop an understanding of the terminology relating to caring for UGI cancer patients including anatomy, treatments, medication, pathology, investigations
  • Ensure confidentiality maintained at all times
  • Maintain accurate and contemporary patient records and data sets
  • Support and contribute to audit processes, governance, research, clinical trials and service development
  • Support clinical teams in development and delivery of prehabilitation programmes
  • Demonstrate self-directed learning, actively seeking role development opportunities to enhance practice, knowledge and role progression
  • Identify personal education needs and skills development
  • Understand there will be exposure to distressing situations and know when to seek appropriate support

Person specification

Qualifications and training

Essential criteria
  • Educated to degree level or able to demonstrate significant relevant experience in working with Cancer MDT
  • Knowledge of a range of NHS procedures and processes
  • Knowledge of a full range of administrative systems
Desirable criteria
  • Knowledge of Cancer pathways

Knowledge and Experience

Essential criteria
  • Understanding of service improvement methodology (i.e. techniques, measurement for improvement)
  • Computer literate (i.e. MS packages)
  • Cancer waiting times
  • Use of IT equipment (i.e. laptops, tablets and projectors)
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Experience of databases to record and extract data
  • Experience in working within a hospital setting

Skills and abilities

Essential criteria
  • Ability to develop and implement policy and procedure
  • Excellent organisational skills
  • Ability to take responsibility for their own area of work
  • Excellent customer service
  • Ability to learn how to use new software systems very quickly and efficiently

Communication skills

Essential criteria
  • Evidence of a good standard of literacy/English language skills
  • Confident in communicating with all staff groups and external stakeholders
  • Develop and maintain good working relationships with all employees
  • Able to present information verbally on an individual basis and to small/large groups

Planning and organising skills

Essential criteria
  • Excellent time management skills including ability to complete tasks requiring concentration
  • Ability to communicate and influence a broad range of staff at all levels with particular regard to cancer waiting times

Physical skills

Essential criteria
  • Standard keyboard use and office duties
  • Able to cope in a busy working environment

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Job Overview
  • Hours Per Week
  • Salary
    £25,655 - £31,534
  • Job Category
    Admin / Clerical / Reception
  • Disability Confident
Job Location