Southampton cancer team honoured for life-changing work

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An oncology team based at University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust has been recognised nationally for their inspirational work supporting people affected by cancer in the area.

Macmillan’s president, Lady Camilla Halifax, presented the Macmillan acute oncology team with the award at the prestigious 2016 Macmillan Excellence Awards, held at The Hilton Metropole Hotel in Birmingham. The ceremony was attended by over 400 professionals and was hosted by TV presenter and broadcaster Gethin Jones.

The awards - now in their fifth year - were developed to celebrate outstanding work carried out by Macmillan health and social care professionals across the country. The event recognised excellence in three areas: service improvement, innovation and integration.

Southampton’s Macmillan acute oncology service team was nominated by colleagues in the Service Improvement Excellence Award category. This category rewards those who have developed integrated services which have greatly improved the experiences of people affected by cancer.

The service was developed to offer people with cancer timely access to specialist advice, reassurance and urgent treatment. It enables patients with cancer to avoid the emergency department.

All patients are reviewed on arrival by one of the highly skilled emergency practitioners, and are then seen by a cancer care consultant within 24 hours. Thanks to a total of 22 people working within the service, patients’ needs are met on the spot and their length of stay is significantly reduced.

“We have an emergency phone line which is staffed 24 hours a day,” said team leader Hannah Bingley.

“Patients can call it if they have any concerns, whether they are treatment-related or general cancer complications. About 50% of callers receive the support they need to stay at home, while we ask the rest to come in.

“Some patients have called this service their lifeline. They gain so much reassurance and confidence from knowing that we are here.”

She added: “We are absolutely delighted to have won the Macmillan Service Excellence award for Service Development. 

"The team at the Macmillan acute oncology service is dedicated and passionate about improving the lives of people affected by cancer. Winning this award in recognition of all our hard work is an honour and will inspire us to continue to deliver care with our patients at the heart of everything we do.”

Posted on Thursday 1 December 2016