Hospital oncologist becomes first to win clinical academy award

An oncologist who led a new treatment for patients has become the first member of the Trust’s Clinical Academy to achieve their postgraduate leadership award.

The award, in partnership with Southampton Solent University, was presented to Dr Shanmugasundaram Ramkumar for his project, which detailed how he led a clinical team in successfully introducing intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) for head and neck cancer patients at Southampton General Hospital.

IMRT is now becoming a routine treatment for many head and neck cancer patients at the hospital and a number have already benefited from the specialist method of treatment.

The therapy administers radiotherapy beams to the shape and size of the tumour – allowing for more precise and accurate treatment.

Dr Ramkumar, a consultant clinical oncologist, said: “Normally, introducing this kind of service can take years, so it was really important to have stringent plans in place to ensure it was delivered within the short time frame.

“This involved organising how and when we would train staff, making sure we had the right resources and having contingency plans in place should there be any problems with any of our equipment.”

At the end of the year-long project, Dr Ramkumar gave a presentation to the Clinical Academy and Southampton Solent University, summarising the details of his project and the thorough planning, leadership and management which was required to make it a success.

He was also assessed on a reflective analysis which periodically explained the progress of the project and the limitations the team faced.

David Young, head of leadership development for the Trust, said: “We would all like to congratulate Dr Ramkumar on this achievement and for becoming the first Clinical Academy Associate to attain this award.

“His success is no doubt due to the high level of commitment and application he demonstrated during his project and it is very well deserved.”

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Trust oncologist