BJN reports from the UKONS annual conference held in November 2022 in Belfast, where experts spoke about the recovery from the pandemic and how nurses are making use of digital technology
The UK Oncology Nursing Society (UKONS) annual conference, held on 11-12 November 2022 in Belfast, was the society's biggest conference to date. The main theme was ‘Cancer Care in the Digital Age’ plus some of the challenges facing oncology nursing.
The conference opened with a thought-provoking talk from Heather Monteverde, Head of Services for Macmillan Cancer Support in Northern Ireland and Professional Adviser in the Department of Health for Northern Ireland. She discussed the vision for cancer nursing in Northern Ireland (NI) and pointed out how unique NI is as its cancer services are led by nurses. She highlighted the future challenges for nursing and questioned what oncology nursing will look like in 10 years.
Jo Armes, Professor of Cancer Care and Digital Health at the University of Surrey, gave a captivating talk on the care of people in prison with cancer. Professor Armes discussed her research into the burden of cancer in prisons. It is well known that infectious and viral diseases are more prevalent in prison populations, but there is little research about the prevalence and treatment of cancer. Professor Armes explained how cancer patients in prison have poorer survival rates and receive fewer treatments. She highlighted that the cost of diagnosing and treating cancer is substantially higher when escorts and bed watches are included. Therefore, patients have worse experiences of getting a diagnosis, gaining access to cancer information and managing side effects.
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