Service improvement excellence award

This category rewards four winners who’ve developed integrated services which have greatly improved the experiences of people affected by cancer.

Macmillan Acute Oncology Service - University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust

The Macmillan Acute Oncology Service at the University Hospital of Southampton has developed to offer people with cancer timely access to specialist advice, reassurance and urgent treatment. The service 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,’ says 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.’

If you would like to find out more about the team’s work please email Programme Manager, David Seychell.


Hope Support Services - Youth Development Officers

Hope Support Services is a small charity based in Gloucestershire and Herefordshire that’s transforming the lives of young people who have close relatives with cancer. In 2012, Macmillan funded two Macmillan Youth Development Officers, SammyJay Powell and Ness Holbrook, who have gone on become integral to the area’s cancer services.

SammyJay and Ness work with the young people who have been referred to Hope to pick out the parts of their service best suited to them. Some need one-to-one time with a support worker, while others prefer taking part in their vast range of group activities.

‘When a young person is better able to cope with a family health crisis, they can better engage with their family, school and community,’ says SammyJay.

‘Often schools don’t understand the huge pressure young people are under when someone in their family is ill,’ adds Ness. ‘But we can liaise with schools on their behalf.’

If you would like to find out more about the team’s work please email Partnership Quality Lead, Helen Petley.


Claire Taylor - Macmillan Nurse Consultant in Colorectal Cancer, London North West Healthcare NHS Trust, St. Mark’s Hospital

Macmillan Nurse Consultant Claire has relentlessly pursued excellence to improve services for people living with and beyond cancer across the country. At a local level she has implemented the Recovery Package at St Mark’s Hospital in London where she leads the colorectal nursing team. She’s also launched a new clinic there for people with chronic bowel problems following cancer treatment which is attended by patients from all over the UK. What’s more, as a highly-respected expert advisor to Macmillan and in her leading roles in various national professional groups, Claire uses her expertise to support other professionals to drive service change too.

‘The big motivation for me is knowing that we’ve got so much to do to improve care’, says Claire. ‘I’m always asking what we can do to make our service better and provide better patient experiences.’

‘Macmillan is fantastic to work with because it’s a two-way relationship: we take support from them for our patients, but we also inform what they do.’

Claire Taylor has also been selected as a Macmillan Fellow for her outstanding achievements. As a Fellow, Claire can access a grant of up to £10,000 to continue improving services. Claire seeks the opportunity to travel to Australia to meet a research team, led by Professor Michael Soloman to see the work they do and use this intelligence to influence how this could be deployed in the UK.

If you would like to find out more about Claire’s work please email Programme Manager, David Seychell.


Gemma Wham - Macmillan Cancer Support Worker, University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust

When Gemma took on the role of Macmillan Cancer Support Worker at University Hospitals, Bristol, her vision proved game changing in reshaping her rehabilitation and support service. One of her many initiatives involved introducing a one-click e-referral system allowing clinical nurse specialists to refer patients to her easily and efficiently. She also established regular, well-attended, health and wellbeing events, and supported a successful scheme to help patients boost their fitness in advance of surgery.

‘The real positive about my role is the amount of time I am able to spend with patients – it’s something clinical nurse specialists simply don’t have,’ says Gemma. ‘Patients can always access our service, and they find this reassuring.’

‘Macmillan has helped me to grow both personally and professionally, and they have looked after me so that I can look after lots of other people. I’m so proud about what the service has become.’

If you would like to find out more about Gemma’s work please email Partnership Quality Lead, Sarah Mathewson.