Cardiff cancer team go above and beyond to improve services for people living with cancer

A CARDIFF cancer team who have gone above and beyond to improve services for people living with cancer has been honoured with a Macmillan award.

Cathryn Lewis, a Macmillan Clinical Lead Occupational Therapist forms part of a highly skilled multi-disciplinary therapies team based at Velindre Cancer Centre.

Cathryn was presented with the prestigious Whatever It Takes award for the team’s inspirational work in supporting people living with cancer by offering the highly personalised and individual support they so desperately need.

Moving into its second year, the Whatever It Takes award category aims to recognise individuals and teams that have truly gone the extra mile.

It is a category for the ‘unsung heroes’ – individuals or teams who have demonstrated extraordinary efforts to adapt, collaborate, advocate for others, and who have shown great resilience in improving care for people with cancer.

The award follows the team’s efforts in setting up a new Neuro-oncology Allied Health Professional and Cancer Nurse Specialist Led Clinic – a pioneering one-stop shop that provides timely interventions to help improve outcomes and enhance the quality of life of people living with cancer.

In recognising that Neuro-oncology cancer patients often require more complex care, this virtual clinic gives patients access to a whole host of holistic support in a single session from a neuro-oncology clinical nurse specialist, an occupational therapist, a physiotherapist, a dietitian and a speech and language therapist.

Together, this highly skilled multi-disciplined team can listen to patients’ needs, put interventions in place quickly, offer expert information and advice, and anticipate issues before crises arrive.

Speaking on behalf of the team, Cathryn said: “While I am truly honoured to receive this award, it is done on behalf of a much wider team of hugely dedicated and highly-skilled cancer professionals.

“The more closely teams work together, the better the patient experience becomes. By holding a joint clinic, we have helped to make things so much quicker, so much more

understandable and accessible for cancer patients. This in turn means we can offer the personalised care that every individual cancer patient needs, at a time when they need it the most.

“But the benefits are also two-fold, because as a team we all continue to learn so much from each other – something that will only continue to help us deliver our aim of constantly improving care for cancer patients in Wales.”

Richard Pugh, Head of Partnerships for Macmillan Cancer Support in Wales said: “We couldn’t be more proud of Cathryn and the wider team for what they are helping to achieve at Velindre Cancer Centre when it comes to delivering timely and personalised care for people living with cancer.

“The Macmillan Excellence Awards are an annual opportunity to show our appreciation for Macmillan professionals, who work tirelessly day in day out to make a real difference for people with cancer.

“The awards also highlight the vital partnership work that exists between Macmillan and Velindre Cancer Centre, with every Macmillan role almost exclusively funded thanks to the public’s generosity.

“This year that work has been more vital than ever before, due to the pressures that the coronavirus pandemic continues to place on front-line cancer services.

“We have to offer a huge thanks to Cathryn and everyone involved in this pioneering project for making such a determined effort to continually push forward to improve care cancer care even within such a challenging environment.”

Macmillan’s prestigious and independent awards highlight excellence right across the UK and the impact of Macmillan professionals and teams who have done whatever it takes to support people living with cancer.

The awards allow Macmillan to bring to celebrate our professionals’ unique spirit by showcasing not just what Macmillan professionals do, but how they do it.

For support, information or a chat, call Macmillan Cancer Support free on 0808 808 00 00 (Monday to Friday, 9am–8pm) or visit macmillan.org.uk.

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