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Specialist Cancer Family History Nurse

Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust
£42,471 to £50,364 per annum
Closing date
6 Mar 2024

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Nurse, Adult nurse, Cancer nurse
Band 6
Full Time
An exciting opportunity has arisen for a motivated enthusiastic nurse to join our Cancer Risk Assessment Teambased in the Clinical Genetics Department at Guy's Hospital. There is an increased demand for personalised cancer risk assessment, but most individuals do not require genetic input. Our Cancer Risk Assessment Service bridges the gap between the primary, secondary and tertiary care settings.

The service is run by skilled cancer family history nurses with support from the cancer genetics clinicians. The successful applicant will join a well-established and friendly team.

Currently appointments are being carried out by telephone, video and face to face. As a cancer family history nurse you will run independent risk assessment clinics where you will assess patient's cancer risk based on NHS guidelines, provide health promotion and lifestyle advice, arrange screening and establish eligibility for a genetics referral.

We are looking for a band 6 nurse with excellent inter-personal and communication skills, who ideally has experience in working within cancer family history/risk assessment or in general nursing. It is important that the applicant has a good understanding of evidence based nursing practice and has, at some capacity, worked with people who are distressed. The post is a 12 month fixed term position.

The successful applicant will also be able to demonstrate the ability to work autonomously and as part of a team and to manage an independent clinical caseload.

Main duties of the job

The Cancer Family History Nurse Specialist will be responsible for undertaking cancer risk assessments, sharing health promotion and awareness information and organising appropriate referrals for screening services within primary and secondary care settings in South London boroughs of Lambeth, Lewisham, Bromley and Southwark.

The Cancer Family History Nurse Specialist will also take part in teaching activities, audit and promotion of the service. The post holder will support the lead family history nurse and work together with the stakeholder organisations and staff to ensure that the service runs smoothly and efficiently.

About us

The Clinical Genetics Department, based within the Specialist Ambulatory Services Directorate, is a busy regional service providing comprehensive genetic counselling to a population of about 5 million across South London, Kent and East Sussex. The department has a large team of clinical geneticists, genetic counsellors, specialist nurses and research practitioners.

The Cancer Risk Assessment Service is based within the Clinical Genetics Department, currently employing three nurses. It was established in 2010 and is funded to provide expert cancer risk assessment services across primary and secondary care in the boroughs of South East London. The service has evolved and expanded its remit and now accepts GP referrals nationally.

The service is aimed at people who have a personal and/or family history of breast, ovarian, prostate, and bowel cancer. The objective is to identify people who are eligible for early screening and/or further genetic investigations. Health and symptom awareness, cancer prevention options and lifestyle advice are also offered to all patients when appropriate. The nurses currently see just over 800 patients a year across the four regions. The service is held in high esteem both within the trust and nationally as a model of care which provides equity of access to families requesting a cancer risk assessment. Strong links with local screening units and MDTs enhance a smooth patient pathway and facilitate education of clinicians.

Job description

Job responsibilities

Duties and Responsibilities

Professional / Clinical responsibilities
  • To work autonomously, managing a case load of patients within the speciality whilst working as part of the multidisciplinary team, delivering individualised and personalised direct patient care.
  • Accept and triage referrals from health professionals, as well as manage self-referrals and prioritise these appropriately.
  • Undertake cancer risk assessments elicit and accurately document patients family history, calculate cancer risks and communicate this effectively to patients and health professionals.
  • Identify where referral for genetics assessment, screening, specialist therapeutic counselling or psychiatric assessment is required and refer appropriately.
  • Provide and receive highly complex sensitive information where there are barriers to understanding.
  • Manage conflict when patients demands are incompatible to professional responsibilities, resources and guidelines.
  • Use advanced counselling skills to communicate sensitively when there are complex ethical, language and cultural issues.
  • Advise on factors that reduce cancer risk and on factors that influence cancer risk.
  • Prepare and utilise patient information leaflets and standard letters appropriately.
  • Liaise and communicate effectively with health care and other professionals.
  • Provide support and highly specialised expertise to colleagues and other health care professionals within the speciality.
  • Act as advocate for patients.

Management and Leadership
  • Support the Lead Family History Nurse in day to day running of the Cancer Risk Assessment Service.
  • Promote and publicise the clinical service amongst the local community and health professionals in primary and secondary care.
  • Support the management of the healthcare assistant.

Information management
  • Ensure that all clinical documents are up-to-date, accurate, legible and appropriately filed.
  • Draw computerised pedigrees.
  • Use word processor to accurately and in a timely manner send standard and non-standard letters and other communications as appropriate.
  • Take minutes of meetings infrequently.
  • Accurately record data on patient information systems and use the in-house databases.

Education & Professional Development.
  • Support the Lead Family History Nurse in providing training and supervision for new family history nurses.
  • Support the Lead Family History Nurse in planning and organising teaching of local health care professionals about cancer risk assessment.
  • Participate in the teaching of cancer family history to medical personnel, other health care professionals and members of the public.
  • Prepare and present scientific articles in clinical and departmental journal clubs and external meetings.
  • Take personal responsibility for continuing professional self-development (together with the Lead Family History Nurse) and keep up to date with changes in the management of cancer family history.
  • Attend group counselling reflection sessions as required to discuss difficult cases with group and the staff counsellor.

Research and Development
  • Contribute to and present findings of research, evaluation audit and clinical practice to large groups of staff or members of the public within the Trust, the local Primary Care Trusts, regionally, nationally or internationally.

Closing date: 05/03/2024

Interview date: 12/03/2024

Person Specification



  • Nursing qualification with relevant BSc or equivalent training and expereince
  • NMC nursing registration held at appropriate level for the post


  • Counselling training

Previous experience


  • Proven post-registration experience in cancer risk assessment or working with patients with family history of cancer
  • Proven post-registration experience in working in clinical primary, secondary or community health setting with patients with cancer
  • Working with people who are distressed


  • oClinical experience with patients with breast, ovarian, prostate or bowel cancer



  • Ability to work autonomously and manage independent clinical caseload
  • Ability to assess, plan and implement specialist care and give relevant information and advice to patients and their relatives
  • Ability to deal with sensitive information, including dealing with distressed patients and relatives
  • Keen to learn new skills and be proactive in learning departmental and NHS guidelines relevant to practice


  • Experience in dealing with patients when their expectations cannot be met

Employer details

Employer name

Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust


Guy's Hospital

Great Maze Pond



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