Sact Safety Campaign Update

SACT Safety Campaign Update

November 22nd 2019

Three years on from presenting their initial work into the safety risks facing chemotherapy nurses administering cytotoxic drugs to patients, Alison Simons and Samantha Toland have revealed how their campaigning is making an international impact.

At a dinner for chemotherapy nurses organised by Vygon on the eve of the UK Oncology Nursing Society in Telford, Alison and Sam showed how their research and networking had produced published clinical papers and their contribution to national guidance which they hope will lead to better protection for colleagues treating cancer patients.

Central to their work is the SACT safety campaign and the website – supported by an educational grant from Vygon – which has brought them to the attention of fellow campaigners in Europe and the US. Now Alison and Sam are planning to step up their campaign to achieve their ultimate aim of a mandatory use of closed system transfer devices for nurses administering chemotherapy drugs, the introduction of national guidance enforced by law as well as standardised education and training.

During their presentation, the pair described how there was still a lot of work to do in educating nurses about the risks to their health and what the protective measures should be.  As well as planning to lobby MPs and MEPs to bring about a change in the law, Alison and Sam are part of a nationwide research project to wipe test chemotherapy clinics before and after closed system transfer devices are introduced and a initiative to quantify how many nurses have suffered hair loss as a result of working with chemotherapy, one of the most common health issues sited in research.

It was back in 2016 on the eve of the UKONS conference in Brighton that Alison and Sam presented their initial research. Concluding their talk this year Alison said:  “We still need to get the message out.  Nurses need to be protected and aprons and gloves just aren’t sufficient”

Published 22nd November 2019

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