European Oncology Nursing Conference (EONS16)

EONS16 took place in Madrid over the weekend of 21st to 23rd October. As has been the case in recent years the EONS conference took place in partnership with the European Society of Medical Oncology Conference (ESMO23), one of the largest medical conferences in the world. The theme of this year’s conference was ‘Cancer nursing: Building on innovation and building back better’ and there were a wide range of topics presented over the three days including health promotion, prevention and screening; supportive and person-centred care; symptom management; palliative and end-of-life care; professional and educational issues in cancer nursing and a special collaborative session with young cancer nurses presenting in partnership with young oncologists. 

Professor Daniel Kelly, OBE gave one of the keynote addresses, picking up on the conference theme in considering the strong evidence that has been gathered supporting the effectiveness of cancer nursing interventions in symptom management and how these might change or adapt as nurses employ increasing levels of technology. Almost directly after his talk, Professor Kelly went on to be presented with EONS Lifetime Achievement Award. 

In the other keynote address Bagcivan Gulcan presented some of the findings from the EONS work on setting research priorities. She found these to be evaluating nurse-led interventions, developing and evaluating interventions for symptom control and supporting cancer nursing as a specialist role across Europe. 

Another highlight included Dimitros Protogiros presenting a toolkit for improving patient and workforce advocacy. He told us that communication is a key element alongside engagement with your target audience (by all methods including social media) as well as utilising larger campaigns to get your message across. Lena Sharp also presented the European Cancer Nursing Index, which provides a cancer nursing ‘temperature check’ across Europe and found some deterioration in nurses perception of patient safety. 

I am also pleased to report that UKONS own Board Member and YECCN Champion Bethany Maynard was the recipient of the RECaN Award for her outstanding contribution to cancer nursing. 

In summary EONS Conferences are excellent places to network and compare practice across Europe as well as giving attendees access to ESMO sessions and exhibitions and I would strongly recommend attendance. They also encourage nurses to submit posters under a special ‘Cancer nursing’ category. EONS17 will take place in Barcelona on 14-16 September.

More details can be found HERE via ESMO or on the EONS Website in due course HERE

Mark Foulkes, UKONS President