Breast cancer care team gets national award

Award win: breast care clinical nurse specialist Veronica Allinson, second right, with patients, from elft: Carol Hanson, Sue Roberts and Carol Randerson
Award win: breast care clinical nurse specialist Veronica Allinson, second right, with patients, from elft: Carol Hanson, Sue Roberts and Carol Randerson

A team at Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Founation Trust have won a top accolade for their pioneering work with breast cancer patients.

Specialist nurses, who are based at the Macmillan Unit at the trust, won the £1,000 best patient support initiative category at the first national Breast Cancer Care Nursing Network Awards.

The team - working with Breat Cancer Care - was the first in the country to research, create, test and pilot a new style of care for women who have had low to moderate risk cancers and do not need chemotherapy.

The programme covers issues such as breast awareness after treatment, diet, excercise and coping strategies to replace routine hosptial follow-ups.

The aim is for women to learn more about their cancers and provie the knowledge to help build confidence for their future. It has been running at the trust for more five years, helping 120 women a year.

The award-winning programme is being rolled-out across all the hospitals in the Yorkshire Cancer Network in a two-year programme led by the trust’s Veronica Allinson, a breast care clinical nurse specialist. She said: “When a diagnosis is made there is so much information to give that it perhaps is difficult to take in. So these meetings, after their surgery, help women to piece together what has happened to them and helps them to better understand their cancer and how to be strong for the future.”

One patient, Carol Hanson, 62, from Skircoat Green, Halifax, said: “On this course there is a common thread which bonds us and you feel like you can ask each other anything and they are happy to talk to you. You get this camaraderie and the overwhelming feeling you are not alone which counts for so much.”