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In post 10 years, initially as nurse specialist
Location Weston Park Hospital, Sheffield
Contact Email Jan|.
The UK centres are unique in offering expert care – in other countries women are treated in their local hospitals. In Sheffield, around 600 women are referred for screening, treatment and support each year. Patients come from a large geographical area, so we provide support by email and phone, but we also run regular drop-in clinics where women have the opportunity to meet others with a similar condition.
This depends on the extent of disease, but the cure rate is very good. The UK is the leader in managing this condition and has the lowest chemotherapy rate at 5–8%, and highest cure rate at more than 98%.
We recently secured funding for a nurse counsellor and nurse specialist to support teenagers and young adults referred to the service, and patients whose first language isn’t English.
It had been difficult to establish a support network for people with such a rare condition. But a patient in Sheffield, with support from the centres, developed the first molar pregnancy support website|. The website now receives around 4,000–5,000 unique visitors each month, has an online support forum, and has helped women make contact with the centres at an earlier stage in the referral pathway.
As we are such a specialised team we are quite small in number, so we really enjoy the opportunity to meet up with others interested in GTD at the international congress. We meet regularly with the Charing Cross and Dundee teams to develop and improve the service. Our weekly MDT is also vital to the success of the service.
We have just introduced nurseled chemotherapy prescribing, which we hope will improve the treatment pathway. We would also like to expand to offer a similar specialist service to other rare tumour groups so patients can benefit from expert care.
I worked with a superb paediatric nurse director in Nottingham called Elizabeth Fradd during the 80s. She was inspirational; full of new ideas and a real go-getter. She was a great role model in the care that she gave patients and was appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2009.
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