A team of specialist Macmillan thoracic nurses working in the community to help reduce the amount of time patients need to spend in hospital have won a Nursing Times Award for their outstanding efforts.
Thanks to a grant from Macmillan Cancer Support, the nurses, who are based at The James Cook University Hospital, have been travelling to patients’ homes after their operations to provide specialist nursing care as well as social, emotional and psychological support.
Following the awards ceremony in London, specialist Macmillan thoracic nurse Hayley McNaught said: “We’re all over the moon to win the NTA (Nursing Times Award) for the surgical category, it was a great privilege to stand on the stage to collect it.”
Stacey Stockdale, specialist Macmillan thoracic nurse added: “I am incredibly proud of everything the team, including specialist Macmillan thoracic nurses Leanne Connelly and Rachel Calvert, has achieved for our patients over the last year and I feel incredibly lucky to be a part of it.
“Our service is very patient-centric and it’s very holistic – and the fact that this has been acknowledged by the surgeons, the trust and Macmillan is fantastic. To win a national award like this is the icing on the cake; it’s something we all feel so passionate about.”
67-year-old Margaret Johnson from Peterlee, County Durham, experienced the award winning community service first hand after being diagnosed with lung cancer earlier this year.
The retired nurse said: “I’m delighted this service has been recognised in this way. The support I’ve received as a result of the home visits from the Macmillan specialist cancer nurses has been so important and I’m very grateful for the excellent and sensitively delivered advice and support I’ve had from the nurses visiting me in my own home.
“It has been a God send really, especially with concerns around COVID, it’s easy to feel isolated in your own home and I’m one of the lucky ones with family living close by.”
Julie Bielby, Macmillan’s strategic partnership manager for the north of England, said: “To win a national award and be a finalist in two others is an amazing achievement and so deserved.
“The Macmillan community specialist thoracic nurses part of the thoracic surgical team is a wonderful example of how Macmillan can work with our NHS partners like South Tees Cancer Services part of South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust to best support vulnerable cancer patients.
“By helping to implement innovative services in the community we are putting cancer patients at the centre of essential care, reducing risk, especially in the last 18 months from Covid-19, and greatly improving patients’ wellbeing and recovery.
“As a charity, we are only able to do this thanks to the generous support of the public as we are almost wholly reliant on public donations to be there for the growing number of people with cancer who need us.”