Excellence Award finalists 2016

Picking winners from an amazing and inspiring selection of people wasn’t easy – they are all instrumental in helping people with cancer take control of their lives. We’d like to congratulate all the finalists for the fantastic work they do to support people living with cancer.

Innovation excellence

Professor Diana Greenfield - Macmillan Consultant Nurse in Late Effects, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

As a Macmillan Nurse Consultant in Late Effects, Diana has made numerous outstanding contributions to innovation in nurse-led care through practice, research and education. An inspiring leader and passionate patient advocate, she is driven by the desire to make a difference through patient-centred care.

In one of many innovations, she pioneered the Sheffield Late Effects Clinic – a multidisciplinary nurse-led service that patients can attend regardless of when or where their cancer treatment was. Nationally, she has been a driving force in Macmillan’s Consequences of Cancer and its Treatment Collaborative, a programme designed to improve the patient experience. As part of it, she has driven the development of competency frameworks for nurses to define the vital knowledge and skills they need to care for people living with and beyond cancer.

‘We’ve still got a huge way to go to make sure patient-centred care is integrated,’ says Diana. ‘We need to build it into the training of the new generation of healthcare professionals.’

If you have any questions about Diana’s work please email Programme Manager, Steve Edwards.


Macmillan Aftercare Rehabilitation Service (MARS) - Royal Surrey County Hospital

MARS was established at the Royal Surrey County Hospital in response to the lack of specialist aftercare services for people with head and neck cancers. This unique one-stop service helps patients manage the side effects of their treatment and improves their quality of life. Each week the MARS team, which includes a speech and language therapist, two dietitians and a nutrition nurse, attends 15 different consultant-led clinics across five different NHS Trusts.

‘We see patients at the same time as their consultant,’ explains Macmillan Dietitian Nicola Porter. ‘It cuts down on their travel time, transport costs, and the amount of time they have to take off work. We offer ongoing support to help them with the long-term side effects of radiotherapy. It’s rewarding to be able to help people do things that are fundamental to their lives like eating meals with their families again.'

If you have any questions about the team’s work please email Partnership Quality Lead, Lucy Beach.


Breast Team - Wirral University Teaching Hospital

The Wirral Clatterbridge breast unit team knew that physical activity could improve outcomes for women with breast cancer, so they were driven to help empower their patients. Through collaborative working they created a unique physical activity and educational pilot which challenged the norm by providing a cost-effective alternative to traditional medical-led follow up.

The Taking Back Control course gave women with breast cancer the opportunity to take part in a variety of physical activities and receive vital cancer information in a friendly environment. The team, which includes four Macmillan Breast Care Nurses and Breast Consultant Maria Callaghan, threw themselves into the exercises too and inspired their patients by example. The team worked with community partners, Livewell, to deliver the programme.

‘Everyone on the course went on to do regular exercise,’ says Breast Care Nurse Jennie Mealor. ‘Survivorship is not a choice. We’ve got to make sure that our patients are getting the best information and we’ve got to keep on promoting physical activity – it’s hugely important.’

If you have any questions about the team’s work please email Partnership Quality Lead, Sonia Holdsworth.


Macmillan Benefits Team - Glasgow City Council

Motivated by the fact that 1 in 17 people with cancer are in danger of losing their homes, the Macmillan Benefits team in Glasgow set out to provide vital – and pioneering – financial support. They visit patients in their own homes and provide a vast array of support in one visit. The novel service is an example of innovation and effective partnership working at its best, bringing together Macmillan, Glasgow City Council, NHS, DWP and other charitable organisations.

What’s more, the service is unprecedented in its return on investment for Macmillan and a shining example of sustainability. After an initial investment of £500,000 in 2008 it accessed an astounding £47 million in financial gains for people with cancer and became fully embedded in Glasgow City Council by 2010.

‘This service is an outstanding example of agencies working in partnership to deliver excellence in support services for the benefit of people affected by cancer across Glasgow,’ says Debbie Young, Development Manager for the Long-Term Conditions and Macmillan Benefits Service in Glasgow. ‘Our dedicated and committed team of social care professionals deliver targeted support, information and advice to people affected by cancer. The aim is to help reduce inequalities often associated with long-term ill health through one single point of contact.’

If you have any questions about the team’s work please email Partnership Quality Lead, Elaine Hamilton.


Dorset Macmillan GPs - Lewis Manning Hospice

The Dorset Macmillan GP team is made up of Dr Simon Pennell, Dr Lavina Sakhrani-Clarke and Dr Paul Barker. Together, they have developed an innovative educational package that has boosted the cancer knowledge of time-poor GPs and other professionals, and improved communication between primary and secondary care.

‘GPs are busy,’ explains Paul Barker. ‘To educate them quickly on early diagnosis, we hit upon the idea of sending them short emails called Macmillan Minutes. Each one contains key facts about a specific cancer type. We also set up a speed dating event to encourage primary and secondary care colleagues to talk more effectively about cancer, and we filmed some palliative care masterclasses and put them online. They’re a great resource for healthcare professionals.’

‘It’s great to work in an environment that encourages novel ways of working. There’s no organisation like Macmillan when it comes to rewarding innovation and creativity.’

If you have any questions about the team’s work please email Partnership Quality Lead, Paula Bond.

Integration Excellence


Mary Newell Price - Macmillan Programme Manager, East London Cancer Board, Bart's Health NHS Trust

As the Macmillan Programme Manager for the East London Cancer Board, Mary oversees a complex and ambitious project that is driving radical change for people with cancer. She brings together commissioners and providers from across the east London health economy and influences them to work together to focus on earlier diagnosis, integrated care and improved patient experience.

Thanks to her passion for collaborative working, Mary has expertly negotiated numerous challenges including contrasting stakeholder priorities and differing hospital cultures. Driving forward developments in a redesigned stratified follow-up pathway for prostate cancer and changes in the lung cancer pathway to speed up earlier diagnosis are just two examples of her impressive achievements so far.

‘A colleague likened my role to that of a tug boat: I try to get lots of disparate vessels travelling in the same direction,’ says Mary. ‘All input and involvement from stakeholders is voluntary, so it’s all about persuasion and creating an environment in which change can happen.'

If you have any questions about Mary’s work please email Partnership Quality Leads, Andrea Barrett and Annie Reilly.


Marion Rood - Macmillan Support Worker, University Hospitals Southampton

Marion was inspired to become a Macmillan Cancer Support Worker to help people recovering from cancer to live well and become more active. Her endless enthusiasm and background in health promotion have combined to see her create a range of initiatives supporting the Recovery Package.

As well as running regular health and wellbeing events and Walking for Health sessions, Marion has also forged links with local libraries, universities and leisure centres to promote her service. What’s more, after successfully applying for a Macmillan Grant, she trained as a Nordic walking instructor so that she could lead sessions for people affected by cancer in her own time.

‘My role is all about empowering people to self-manage,’ says Marion. ‘And it goes to show that Macmillan is all about supporting people to look towards the future and focus on how they can stay fit and healthy. It’s a really positive thing.’

If you have any questions about Marion’s work please email Partnership Quality Leads, Sinead Parry and Miriam Rowswell.


Macmillan Brain and CNS Cancer Improvement Team - Scarborough and Ryedale CCG

The Macmillan Brain Tumour and CNS Cancer Programme in Hull is the first Macmillan redesign project to focus on improving the patient experience for people with rare and complex cancers. The team, comprising Programme Manager Helen Sowden and Project Manager Lucie Osborne, took the unique approach of working in partnership with patients to improve services.

By articulating complex patient needs through patient stories and videos alongside comprehensive evidence, the team have influenced providers and commissioners to deliver real transformational change. They continue to work doggedly to highlight the specific issues relating to brain tumours and CNS cancers and integrate their programme with other areas of work whenever opportunities arise.

‘The complexity of this cancer type means there are no off-the-shelf solutions,’ says Helen. ‘We’ve had to be really innovative and novel in coming up with suitable solutions for this cohort of patients.’

If you have any questions about the team’s work please email Partnership Quality Lead, Sandra Clarkson.


North Manchester Macmillan Palliative Care Support Service - Pennine Acute Hospital Trust, North West

The North Manchester Macmillan Palliative Care Support Service is transforming palliative care for patients in an area that doesn’t have a hospice by providing expert support seven days a week.

Collaborative working has been key to the success of the team, which includes a range of therapists, clinical nurse specialists, assistant practitioners, a volunteer coordinator, a consultant and a GP. Everyone takes part in daily handovers and multidisciplinary-team meetings, and takes turns to run a vital phone service for patients and carers. The result is excellent communication, a lack of duplicated work and the delivery of fully integrated and holistic care.

‘Our service was established to allow people to be cared for appropriately at home,’ says Service Manager Alicia Waite. ‘We know that we’ve supported more people to die in their preferred place, and that’s really significant.’

If you have any questions about the team’s work please email Partnership Quality Lead, Victoria Cooper.


Birmingham and Solihull Macmillan Specialist Care at Home Pilot - Macmillan Solihull Community Services

The Birmingham and Solihull Macmillan Specialist Care at Home pilot team are supporting local services to work more effectively together and enhance the quality of care they provide for people at the end of their lives.

Thanks to charismatic leadership and an engaged, enthusiastic and tenacious team, the project is achieving its goals as a result of three innovative initiatives. Firstly, they are offering some intravenous infusions and blood transfusions at home that were only previously given in acute settings. Secondly, they have created a GP learning network to give primary care professionals ongoing training on how to provide the best quality end of life care. Finally, they are supporting local Macmillan volunteers to provide practical and emotional support to patients in their own homes.

‘All the time and effort that went into setting up the new service has paid off,’ says Project Manager Ann White. ‘Together, the hospice team, community IV team and acute blood transfusion service have developed a new working relationship, and they are particularly proud to have been able to offer blood transfusions at home to improve the patient journey.’

A member of the GP learning network said, ‘Increased enjoyment in caring for palliative patients is directly proportional to perceived confidence. The impact of this in the current negative climate of general practice has far reaching implications.’

One of the Macmillan Specialist Care at Home services users added, ‘Having a Macmillan volunteer gives me confidence – it’s a real safety net.’

If you have any questions about the team’s work please email Partnership Quality Lead, Fiona Taylor.

Service Improvement Excellence


Kate Baker - Macmillan Clinical Lead Physiotherapist, Velindre Cancer Centre, Cardiff

As Macmillan Clinical Lead Physiotherapist at Velindre Cancer Centre in Cardiff, Kate’s focus has always been providing the best possible care to her patients. So, when numerous women with breast cancer told her that they were suffering from debilitating hot flushes as a result of their treatment, she set about finding a solution.

Kate successfully applied for a Macmillan Grant so that she could train in acupuncture and offer the treatment as a part of her service. Once qualified, she applied the techniques and patients began to feel powerful benefits immediately. Thanks to her dedication and vision, the service continues to grow and four members of her team can now practice acupuncture.

‘Macmillan’s training, resources and educational funding have enabled me to become a better clinician,’ says Kate. ‘That has a knock-on effect on what I can provide for my patients. It helps them to live well with their cancer.’

If you have any questions about Kate’s work please email Partnership Quality Lead, Ginny Brink.


Jacqueline Coyle - Macmillan Welfare Rights Officer, Inverclyde CHCP

Macmillan Welfare Rights Officer Jacqueline has single-handedly provided an essential service to people struggling with the costs of cancer in Inverclyde and the surrounding areas. Since the service began in 2008, her tireless work has helped more than 3,000 people and generated more than £10 million in additional income. Jacqueline is constantly seeking out new ways to make the service more accessible, such as promoting it through local libraries.

‘I’m focused on making sure this service is equitable and available to anyone in Inverclyde – not just those who have been identified by medical professionals with an obvious need,’ explains Jacqueline.

‘I’ve seen people at their lowest because of the financial impact of cancer. People feel relieved when they discover they can claim benefits that they had no idea they were entitled to. It’s heartening for them to know that support is available.'

If you have any questions about Jacqueline’s work please email Partnership Quality Lead, Joyce Dunlop.


Sheena Dryden - Macmillan Clinical Nurse Specialist in Skin Cancer, NHS Lothian

Since becoming Scotland’s first Macmillan Clinical Nurse Specialist in Skin Cancer in 2006, Sheena has worked tirelessly to provide a seamless service in the Lothian area. 

Whilst in her post, Sheena has established invaluable nurse-led clinics and phone follow-ups to free up consultants’ time, and created a dedicated phone line for patients and carers. She’s also educated colleagues, students and the general public on skin cancer and, as part of a team, introduced game-changing video conferencing technology to multi-disciplinary team meetings.

Building on the success of her service, Sheena has campaigned for the last few years to establish a CNS and a Care Pathway Manager for non-melanoma skin cancers. Her hard work finally paid off when the new Macmillan professionals took up their posts in September.

‘We’re continually developing our clinics to make them more patient-centred, using patient experience surveys to assist with this,’ says Sheena. ‘An example of this was changing the first follow up appointment post-treatment from three months after treatment to a clinic within one month of treatment. It addresses issues designed to assist the individual to move on with living their lives, including prevention, early detection, and other forms of support. The reason for doing this was that we know patients can have ongoing concerns that still need to be addressed and they potentially feel most vulnerable and alone at this time.’

‘I take any opportunity I can to let my patients know that there is a whole team behind them. It’s not just me and the clinicians, but also those professionals involved behind the scenes, including Macmillan with their sources of support.’

If you have any questions about Sheena’s work please email Partnership Quality Lead, Fiona Sneddon.


Macmillan and Compton Hospice South Staffordshire Prisons Project - Compton Hospice, Wolverhampton

After visiting a prisoner with palliative care needs, it became clear to the healthcare professionals at Wolverhampton’s Compton Hospice that many other people in prison needed specialist cancer support. It inspired them to team up with HMP Oakwood to create the Macmillan and Compton Hospice South Staffordshire Prisons Project.

Together, the team has worked to speed up access to dignified cancer care for prisoners and to provide ongoing education about cancer to prison officers. On top of this, the team also supports prisoners to run a healthcare and support helpline. Macmillan branding has been a very important aspect to support the Trust’s relationship with prisoners as they know and respect the name.

‘Prisoners have to deal with a whole range of disadvantages already, so why should they be disadvantaged further when it comes to cancer care?’ asks Lorraine McBride who headed up the project. ‘Wearing the Macmillan lanyard really helps when you’re working in prisons. People know Macmillan and they know that you’re there to help them, not to tell them what to do.’

If you have any questions about the team’s work please email Partnership Quality Lead, Fiona Taylor.


Sue Warren - Macmillan Breast Outreach Nurse, South Tees NHS Trust

Macmillan Breast Outreach Nurse Sue is transforming care for women after breast cancer surgery by supporting them in the comfort of their own homes. Her superb outreach service in South Tees provides drain management and other procedures traditionally performed in a hospital in order to allow patients to go home as soon as possible.

The service benefits patients in so many ways, from continuity of nursing care to reduction of hospital-acquired infections to the early detection and treatment of wound issues. It’s also extremely cost-effective and has saved hundreds of hospital bed days.

‘I can pick things up quickly and save patients a trip back to hospital,’ says Sue. ‘Women are psychologically and emotionally vulnerable following breast surgery and may have altered body image issues. It’s very reassuring for them to have as much treatment as possible at home from a specialist nurse.’

If you have any questions about Sue’s work please email Partnership Quality Lead, Karen Stenlund.


Wendy White - Lymphoma and Teenage and Young Adult's Clinical Nurse Specialist, Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust

As well as providing exceptional care for her patients as a Macmillan Clinical Nurse Specialist in Lymphoma and Young People, Wendy has also initiated several projects to improve the patient experience in Portsmouth.

Because the majority of her patients receive chemotherapy, she was inspired to design, implement and lead regular Demystifying Chemotherapy workshops. Not only have the sessions provided patients with increased understanding and confidence about the treatment, but they’ve also been replicated as best practice in other organisations. On top of this, Wendy successfully applied for her hospital to become a pilot site for the eHNA and influenced her colleagues to embrace the potential of the technology.

‘I always evaluate the services I offer and welcome feedback,’ says Wendy. ‘So it’s great when I hear that the projects I have initiated have made a difference and had an impact on patient care.’

If you have any questions about Wendy’s work please email Partnership Quality Leads, Sinead Parry and Miriam Rowswell.