Judges impressed by cancer nursing team's commitment

Many people are affected by cancer, and nurses are involved at every stage of the illness, bringing care, support and inspiration to patients and families.

It is fitting therefore that the RCNi Awards include two categories in cancer – the Cancer Nursing Practice Award and Excellence in Cancer Research.

The applications this year came from nurses around the country involving patients with many different types of tumour, including breast, prostate, colorectal, lung, and head and neck.

The patients were of all ages – older and younger, including children, teenagers and young adults. While some were early in their disease, others had metastases.

Each nurse, in practice and research, showed great compassion and thoughtfulness about the needs of patients and the type of service that would help them, improve outcomes and enhance quality of life.

‘It was wonderful to hear about changes the nurses had achieved in hospitals, clinics and the home’

During interviews for the awards they talked about their projects with knowledge and enthusiasm. It was wonderful to hear about changes the nurses had achieved in hospitals, clinics and the home. I learned a lot, and encourage everyone to read about their work. Choosing a winner was difficult, as all were excellent.

For the Cancer Nursing Practice Award we selected a team led by Sharon Foy at The Christie NHS Foundation Trust in Manchester.

The team recognised the special needs of people diagnosed with secondary breast cancer, sought the views of patients, and worked with the University of Manchester and the Christie School of Oncology. They changed the service to a designated nurse-led clinic for all patients with secondary breast cancer, where they are helped to take control of their health and well-being and manage their condition.

Patients are positive about the change and ‘the absolutely amazing support and care’ from Sharon’s team. The panel were impressed by the commitment of Sharon and her team to improving the quality of care.

Thinking of the future, could you be the winner next year?

Dr Caroline Shuldham, chair of RCNi Editorial Advisory Board