Beaumont RCSI Cancer Centre

Key Roles in the management of Upper Gastro Intestinal cancer at Beaumont RCSI Cancer Centre

February 19, 2024 | Blog
Key Roles in the management of Upper Gastro Intestinal cancer at Beaumont RCSI Cancer Centre

With the spotlight on Upper Gastro Intestinal (UGI) cancers this month we focus on some of the key roles in our expert service at Beaumont RCSI Cancer Centre. Our patients  have access to experts in advanced endoscopic techniques, minimally invasive surgery and structured enhanced recovery programmes and our team of experts continues to grow.

My name is Wendy Hickey. I have recently started working in the role of Registered Advanced Nurse Practitioner (RANP) within the Upper Gastrointestinal (GI) Surgical service here in Beaumont Hospital after completing my MSc in Advanced Nursing Practice in UCD. My role focuses on surveillance and survivorship of for upper GI cancer patients who have completed the active phase of their cancer treatments. I bring my experience of working in Medical Oncology, in St Anne’s ENT/Head and Neck oncology and as an Upper GI CNS for over 12 years to the service. Optimising these patients quality of life and encouraging them to live well beyond their cancer diagnosis is the essence of my new role! I look forward to bringing my experience and knowledge into this new role having worked as the Upper GI CNS for over 12 years within the surgical service.

We are the two Upper GI Cancer Clinical Nurse Specialists (CNS) in Beaumont Hospital, Claire Coleman and Julie Anne Pereras. Within our role we act as the patient’s core link and aim to provide a seamless service for patients diagnosed with Upper GI Cancers. We co-ordinate appointments for all relevant out-patient clinics. We also provide support, guidance and advice to patients and their families both in person and via the phone. We encourage patients and their families to contact us directly in the event of any problems or concerns which we can address directly with the team as necessary. We strive to provide an efficient, effective high quality service whilst representing the needs of the patient. Over recent years we and our ANP Wendy have been involved in many improvements to the service. A significant advancement was the implementation of the Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) Pathway for Oesophagectomy and Gastrectomy patients. ERAS is an evidence based multidisciplinary approach designed to decrease the time it takes to recover after surgery, reducing complications along with improving the surgical experience.

The dietetic team specialising in Upper GI Cancer in Beaumont Hospital is growing.  2023 saw our new Senior Dietitian Lynn Fagan join the team, working alongside Linda Moore, Senior Dietitian and Cathy White Clinical Specialist Dietitian.  The newly expanded dietetic service to patients with oesophageal or gastric cancer in Beaumont Hospital now spans from diagnosis, throughout oncological and surgical treatment and into survivorship.  Patients have access to a dietitian in both the outpatient and inpatient setting.  Our role involves providing evidenced based nutritional interventions: we help patients to maximise their nutritional status before treatment, support them with advice and nutritional interventions during treatment and surgery and advise on best dietary strategies to use to adjust to life after surgery and into the longer term. The dietetic team work closely with the other members of the Upper GI Multidisciplinary Team to develop the service and improve patient experiences and outcomes.  In 2023 Cathy was a key speaker at an Oesophageal Cancer Fund (OCF) Patient Support Meeting and the dietetic team have led research and audit presented both nationally and internationally on nutrition and Upper GI cancer over the last number of years.

My name is Orla Brett and I am a Physician Associate in Beaumont Hospital. I commenced this role as part of the upper GI surgical team in 2019, having completed my MSc in Physician Associate Studies in RCSI, Dublin. I have been working in this specialty for almost 5 years, which has absolutely flown by. My role has established and evolved over the years involving a variety of tasks and responsibilities. I am trained as a robotic first assistant for major UGI surgeries including oesophagectomy and gastrectomy for our cancer patients. I assess, manage and follow up patients in our surgical outpatient department with support from my supervising consultant, Mr Robb. I liaise with patients in their peri-operative phase, communicating with GPs and other necessary hospital specialties. I believe I have become an integral part of upper GI team and a point of contact for staff, students and patients. I enjoy being a familiar face to our patient’s who are often seen by our service for over 5 years for cancer surveillance. I take pride in helping our new team during NCHD changeover by providing continuity of care within our service. Navigating a new role in the healthcare system can have it’s challenges, however, I am delighted with how my role has evolved as a physician associate on the upper GI team and hope I continue to provide continuity going forward.