Western Isles Macmillan nurses shortlisted for UK Cancer Team of the Year

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The Macmillan Nurse team within NHS Western Isles are in the running for a top British award for cancer care.

They have been shortlisted in the Cancer Team of the Year UK category in the Quality in Care Oncology Awards.

The team were put forward by their manager, Gill Chadwick, Macmillan Lead Cancer Nurse, who is delighted their hard work and dedication has been recognised.

The Western Isles Macmillan Nurses are: Fiona Creighton, Donna Parkes, Chris Ann Maclean, Hazel Hebditch, Mairi Smith, Kathryn Macsween and Mary Buchanan.

They are the only team from Scotland to be shortlisted in the awards, which recognise best practice in oncology prevention, diagnosis and testing, treatment pathways and patient care throughout the UK.

The winners will be announced at the awards ceremony in London on February 25 at St Thomas’ Hospital.

Gill, who is being accompanied to the ceremony by Chris Ann Maclean and Kathryn Macsween, said: “I am constantly humbled by the exceptional work that my team do.

“They offer support to not only the person with a cancer diagnosis but also those close to them too. That support starts as soon as they receive a referral and will last as long as it is needed.

“That can be from the time the person is told their cancer diagnosis all the way through treatments until they are well enough to be discharged from their caseload.

“Sadly, they will also support patients and their loved ones at end of life and into bereavement.

“They provide continuity of care no matter whether they are: at home, in hospital, care home or hospice. There is unlikely to be a village or town in the Western Isles that has not been visited by a Macmillan Nurse!

“They are true advocates for their patients and work closely with mainland cancer consultants (oncologists) to help minimise the amount of travelling the patients have to do.”

The Macmillan Nurses work closely with local colleagues too: the community nurses, the GPs, hospital nurses and doctors and many of the Allied Health Professionals, particularly the Occupational Therapists, Physiotherapists and the Dietitians.

The team, who are based in Stornoway and Benbecula, will regularly travel long distances – making journeys by ferry and plane, across causeways and bridges – to deliver their patient-focused care wherever it is needed throughout the Outer Hebrides island chain.

Gill added: “I am so proud of them and delighted that a UK organisation has recognised their good work. They deserve that recognition.”

The judging panel that chose the Western Isles Macmillan Nurses for the shortlist said of them: “This is nursing at its best – working in a challenging environment and truly making a difference to people. The logistics of providing the care they do across this diverse geographical location is amazing.

“They are clearly a hard working, dedicated team who go beyond their remit to help their patients.”

Western Isles MSP Alasdair Allan warmly welcomed the shortlisting, saying: “This is a well deserved recognition for an exceptional Macmillan team who are well known in the islands for the professional and compassionate care that they give. It is good to see this dedication being acknowledged, and I warmly congratulate the Macmillan team on this real achievement.”

Joanne Adamson, Macmillan Development Manager for the North of Scotland, said: “It’s a fantastic accolade for the team who show such a strong commitment to their patients and go above and beyond to look after people affected by cancer in the Western Isles.”