The refurbishment of radioactive iodine rooms across the UK by a patient-led charity

  • Introduction
    Butterfly Thyroid Cancer Trust is a patient-led charity whose aims are to improve the care and quality of life for patients diagnoseed with thyroid cancer. Patients are regularly asked for feedback regarding the care they  received and areas for improvement.

    Methods
    A questionnaire was sent to members of BTCT and they were asked to reply to various questions about their treatment pathway and where they thought things could be improved. 396 patients replied from 65 different centres in the UK and various common themes were evident.

    Results
    Regular comments were around the use radioiodine and their care during an in-patient stay in the radioiodine (RAI) room. Comments included staff ignoring patients in the RAI room following administration of RAI, isolation in the RAI room with inconsistent practices across the country in isolation, visiting times and access, banning of mobile phones from the room and poor conditions and facilities within the RAI room itself. BTCT then held discussions with stakeholders such as ward staff and managers, including surgeons, many of whom had never visited the RAI rooms in their institutions. BTCT embarked onm a programme of refurbishment at a cost of approximately £5000 per room. To date, 17 centres have had their rooms refurbished with many more centres applying.

    Discussion
    Feedback from patients being treated in the new rooms has been universally good with many who had expereincedd gthe rooms before and after refurbishment making helpful comments. BTCT intends top continue the roll-out of this programme over the next few years.

 

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