Excellence Award finalists 2017

We’d like to congratulate all the finalists for the fantastic work they do to support people living with cancer.

Innovation Excellence Award finalists

Macmillan Clinical Palliative/End Of Life Care Education Team, Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust

The Macmillan Clinical Education Team was launched to address a lack of confidence among healthcare staff in delivering quality care to patients approaching the end of their lives. The proactive, multidisciplinary team has been instrumental in supporting colleagues to recognise end of life care patients, initiate advance care planning and signpost to support.

The team has raised the profile of end of life care across their organisation by delivering innovative, bespoke training for individual clinical teams and embedding a network of champions. Thanks to their collaborative work with other providers of end of life care in Hertfordshire, the programme is leaving a lasting legacy that will benefit patients both now and in the future.

‘Initially, a lot of healthcare staff didn’t see that they had a role to play in providing end of life care because they didn’t think they saw end of life patients,’ says Kemi Koleoso, the Clinical Education Lead. ‘It was all about convincing them that they do, and explaining that people at the end of their lives may still be active, walking around and attending clinic sessions.’

‘It’s been great to be able to upskill clinicians and make a tangible difference to both their practice and their patients.’

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


Macmillan Urology Team, Burton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Knowing that men often present late with prostate cancer, the Macmillan Urology Team decided to bring their service to them. Jyoti Shah, Macmillan Consultant Urological Surgeon and Sarah Minns, Macmillan Urology Advanced Nurse Practitioner, set up a pop-up diagnostic clinic at Burton Albion Football Club.

Not only did the project result in several early diagnoses of prostate cancer, but it also promoted awareness of the illness locally. Alongside the clinic, Jyoti and Sarah have set up a well-attended prostate cancer support group which offers patients and their partners the opportunity to share their stories and discuss their health.

‘We’ve always been passionate about raising awareness of prostate cancer, especially because men don’t like to talk about things or engage with health services,’ says Jyoti. ‘The response to our pop-up clinic was phenomenal. We saw 113 men over two days and we had to turn away 137. That shows the overwhelming appetite for this service in our community.’

‘Some of the men we saw have gone on to fundraise, volunteer or share their stories in the media. When we hear people tell us how our service has changed their lives, it makes me tearful. As long as we’ve got breath and energy we’ll be doing more of these clinics and carrying on with our campaign.’ The team has since run a further six full days of clinics.

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


West of Scotland Mesothelioma Team, Greater Glasgow & Clyde Health Board

Officially classed as an industrial injury, mesothelioma is often referred to as ‘the forgotten cancer’. Commonly, mesothelioma patients have been marginalised and little research has been conducted on the illness. However, the West of Scotland Mesothelioma Team is striving to combat this.

The team has developed a multitude of innovative projects that are improving the lives of patients across Scotland. These include a plural catheter service that allows people to stay at home and a cutting-edge thoracoscopy service which offers quick and reliable diagnosis. The team are also supporting patients to make good choices about their care by increasing the availability of treatments and trials for mesothelioma.

‘Traditionally, mesothelioma patients have not been recognised and there’s no pathway for them’ says retired Macmillan Mesothelioma Clinical Nurse Specialist, Dr Jan Devlin who leads the team. ’Our unique service empowers patients by giving them knowledge about their illness. We should all be able to make our own decisions in life, but for people who don’t know enough about their illness – or who haven’t been properly diagnosed –they’re not able to. That’s where we can help.’

‘Our indwelling plural catheters have made such a big difference,’ adds Jan. ‘They mean we can keep patients out of hospital and allow them to stay in their home setting. Mesothelioma patients may not have much longer than a year to live, but our catheters give them quality time.’

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


Lymphoedema Network Wales Team, Abertawe Bro-Morgannwg University Health Board

The Curing Lymphoedema Programme is pioneering a revolutionary microsurgical technique that can cure lymphoedema, the debilitating chronic condition that can be caused by cancer treatment. Provision of the service is fully streamlined and includes a National Macmillan Innovations Lymphoedema Specialist who assesses, scans and supports patients through their surgery and rehabilitation. The huge benefit of this is that consultant time is freed up. As a result of the life-changing programme, it is proposed that 97% of patients are no longer at risk of cellulitis infections and 70% no longer need compression garments.

‘Our patients say they feel “normal” again,’ says Cheryl Pike, the team’s National Macmillan Innovations Lymphoedema Specialist. ‘That’s the word they’re using. And it’s not a new normal, it’s the old normal. The impact that lymphoedema can have on people’s relationships, body image, and their ability to work is huge but we’re able to improve those things. We’re able to give people hope.’

‘Our team has the perfect system in place,’ adds Amar Ghattaura, Consultant Plastic Surgeon. ‘Cheryl knows all the patients and screens them to see who is suitable for the programme, so all I have to do is come in and do the surgery. It’s a very efficient way of doing things and using resources.’

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


Macmillan Cancer Psychological Support (CaPS) Team, St George's University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Established to fill the gap in provision of psychological support for cancer patients in south west London, the CaPS Team provides truly comprehensive support for patients and their families. The innovative, multidisciplinary team comprises counselling, psychology and liaison psychiatry specialists who work together to jointly manage the needs of their patients promptly and appropriately. As well as supporting people affected by cancer, the team also works to embed good psychological support within cancer services more generally, through training and empowering healthcare professionals.

‘A major benefit is that patients can self-refer to us,’ says Dr Asanga Fernando, Macmillan Consultant Liaison Psychiatrist. ‘We offer support for everything from adjustment issues around understanding a cancer diagnosis, to depression, anxiety and complex mental health issues.’

‘What’s so different about our team is that the healthcare professional who refers an individual to us doesn’t have to decide who needs to see that patient,’ says Janet Bates, Macmillan Oncology Counsellor. ‘We will allocate the most appropriate member of the team and then, if the patient’s needs change during their cancer journey, we can refer them to another team member. We offer complete holistic care for our patients.’

‘We’re passionate that psychological support services like ours should be seen as routine, not luxury,’ adds Dr Sahil Suleman, Macmillan Consultant Clinical Psychologist.

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


Integration Excellence Award finalists

Alison Keen, Macmillan Head of Cancer Nursing, University Hospitals Southampton NHS Foundation Trust

As Macmillan Head of Cancer Nursing at University Hospitals Southampton, Alison has relentlessly pursued excellence to improve integrated care locally, regionally and nationally. Driven by a passion to ensure people with cancer are at the heart of every service development, Alison has inspired and motivated her colleagues to provide truly outstanding services.

As the most experienced Lead Nurse within Wessex, Alison has been instrumental in bringing about numerous improvement initiatives that have had enormous impacts on patient care. She led six tumour sites to implement patient-triggered follow-up, which resulted in 2,000 patients being recruited into the pathway and more than 6,000 outpatient appointments being released. She was also key in driving the introduction of support workers who allow CNSs to use their expertise appropriately. What’s more, Alison has also established a community of practice for CNSs which encourages them to share good practice, problem solve, and support each other to deliver excellence in cancer care.

‘One of the most rewarding aspects of my role is in developing and supporting the people I lead to grow in confidence and to be aware of their expertise’, says Alison. ‘Enabling them to feel like they belong to a motivated and dynamic network, facilitates a clear sense of direction and strategy. Ultimately, that makes a real impact on patients.’

If you have any questions about Alison’s work please email Sinead Parry, Partnership Quality Lead.


Lanarkshire Cancer Strategy Team, NHS Lanarkshire

In 2013, the Lanarkshire Cancer Strategy Team embarked on a four-year programme of work designed to improve the care and outcomes for people affected by cancer across numerous and varied pathways. The ambitious programme brought together partners from NHS Lanarkshire, health and social care partnerships in the region, and third sectors colleagues.

The project team took an integrated approach to health and social care provision, with the prime goal of providing safe, effective, person-centred and sustainable services. They delivered their vision by creating cultural change and ensuring the cancer workforce in Lanarkshire had the necessary skills and competencies. They sensitively supported services to understand how their work impacted on other services, and then empowered them to make changes from the bottom up rather than the top down.

The sheer scale of this body of work has been extraordinary, with 24 ‘test of change’ projects taking place across various teams. They’ve all made a difference to countless people including patients undergoing chemotherapy, patients with breast cancer and patients at risk of lymphedema.

‘Introducing the Macmillan Values Based Standard as a quality improvement tool allowed us to listen to patients and take stock,’ says Lynn Mack, Macmillan Cancer Improvement Programme Manager. ‘It led to many examples of innovative practices and transformational change. It broke down the physical and cultural barriers around the care we offer our patients and their carers.’

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


Macmillan Integration of Cancer Care Team, South Tees NHS Foundation Trust

The MICC Programme was put into place to provide joined-up cancer care promoting and improving patient choice across South Tees. The programme comprises eight workstreams driving change across every aspect of the cancer journey, from pushing for earlier GP referrals to improving hospice provision. The team also leads three unique innovations projects, including one believed to be a European-first which allows opticians to refer patients immediately if they suspect cancer.

The programme’s achievements have been possible thanks to the input of both service users and the MacICC Board, who provide cross-organisational representation.

‘Before the programme, we didn’t have the right care in the right place at the right time, and we didn’t have the right people delivering it,’ says Dr Angela Wood, the programme sponsor.

‘We set about influencing people, and we did this by being transparent, honest, and passionate, adds Carol Taylor, MacICC Programme Manager. ‘Clinicians bought into us because not only were we able to build relationships, but we were also able to deliver. We’ve created something that’s sustainable because we took people’s ideas about how to make things better, and we supported them to make them happen.’

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


The Macmillan Survivorship Team, Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust and West Suffolk Hospital Foundation Trust

The Suffolk Survivorship project is a pioneering programme that was developed to give every person with cancer access to a broad and holistic range of support. From exercise groups, art workshops and book groups, to beauty workshops, support to return to work and a self-management education programme, the extensive portfolio features more than 40 initiatives, which means there’s something for everyone.

The team has worked collaboratively with many organisations to fully embed their package of support across the patient pathway and make it sustainable. As a result, every element of the Recovery Package can now be delivered to every person with cancer.

‘What’s so special about these initiatives is the fact that they subtly provide support and peer support, plus there’s also a therapeutic benefit from the activities,’ says Louise Smith, Macmillan Survivorship Lead. ‘People with cancer might not necessarily want to go to a support group, but the shared experience and the shared learning that comes from taking part in creative activities together is really powerful.’

‘We’ve had to help our colleagues understand that this kind of support and these kinds of services are just as important as treatment. We want cancer patients everywhere to be able to tap into the kind of support we offer.'

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


Service Improvement Excellence Award finalists

Colorectal Cancer Team, University Hospitals of South Manchester NHS Trust

The Colorectal Cancer Team has transformed the follow-up care it offers to people with cancer by putting patients at the very centre of the service. By introducing nurse-led follow-up clinics, health and wellbeing clinics and treatment summaries, they are fully implementing the Recovery Package while also reducing the burden on consultant outpatient services.

The team’s vision, drive and tenacity have been pivotal to the success of the service redesign, as has patient involvement via focus groups, audits and feedback. And, with improved patient outcomes and experiences, better demand management and a more efficient use of resources, the results have been outstanding.

‘We’ve expanded the number of holistic needs assessments that we offer and we’ve also been able to drive treatment summaries forward thanks to the recruitment of our project coordinator,’ says Helen Ashby, Macmillan Colorectal Nurse Specialist. ‘That means the way we communicate with patients is more efficient and more effective, which has come from patients telling us that communication is key.’

‘We’ve certainly seen that patients, and their family and carers, are much more empowered and confident to manage their own health and wellbeing,’ she adds. ‘We’ve seen them engage much more, not only with our services, but also with activity, craft and support groups, so that’s a great improvement. People are feeling much more supported.’

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


Joseph Potts, Macmillan End of Life Care Facilitator, University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust

Since joining the specialist palliative care team as an End of Life Care Facilitator, Joe has enabled and empowered professionals across his trust to deliver best practice end of life care. He has driven numerous service improvement initiatives, including an extensive programme of bespoke training events to support all levels of staff, from hospital porters through to consultants. He’s also rolled out individualised care plans and decision-making sheets to help staff support people at the end of life.

By building a supportive environment and always being on hand to help members of staff, Joe has become an invaluable, go-to resource. In a short space of time he’s created tangible, sustained change which has improved quality, efficiency, and effectiveness and, most importantly, has ensured person-centred, quality care.

‘It’s really rewarding to be able to support staff to have those important conversations about end of life care with patients and relatives. It’s brilliant to see staff out on the ward putting the training I’ve delivered into practice’, says Joe.

If you have any questions about Joe’s work please email Ofrah Muflahi, Partnership Quality Lead.


Macmillan Breast Care Team, NHS Highland

The three passionate nurses in this small team have gone above and beyond the remits of their roles to deliver exemplary, holistic care for people with breast cancer in the Highlands. Having quickly understood the enormous impact that the Recovery Package could have on their patients, they were determined to do everything they could to implement it.

As well as embedding holistic needs assessments and treatment summaries, the team has developed a secondary breast cancer group which is proving to be a lifeline for many women in Inverness. They’ve also supported a Macmillan role development post, introduced end of treatment events, created a seroma protocol and developed an electronic database to help them offer timely interventions to patients.

‘We didn’t implement the Recovery Package on the back of a specific project, we just had ethical drive,’ explains Angeline Macleod, Macmillan Breast Care Nurse. ‘We’re particularly proud of the fact that we brought these initiatives in because they were the right things to do for patients.’

‘The most rewarding thing for us has been seeing the before and after picture. We’ve got the helicopter view of what services were there before and what is there now, and that’s something that’s been really satisfying. Seeing people laughing, sharing and nurturing each other at the secondary breast group, for example, is great.’  

If you have any questions about the teams work please email Joanne Adamson, Partnership Manager.


Macmillan Living With and Beyond Cancer Project Team, Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust

The Macmillan Living With and Beyond Cancer Project Team works across all sites within the Pennine Acute Hospitals Trust. Established in 2015 for two years, the team supported and facilitated clinical teams to implement the Recovery Package across all tumour sites. With excellent project management skills and emotional intelligence, the team built relationships and helped colleagues to make transformational cultural change.

The project team held engagement events and ran staff training sessions for all elements of the Recovery Package. Despite the complexities of dealing with four CCGs, they were unwavering in their dedication to optimising patient experiences and outcomes.

‘It was crucial to get the collaborative working right at the beginning,’ says Debbie Ashforth, Macmillan Transformation Programme Lead. ‘We had to go out to all key stakeholders – including all MDTs – to ensure everyone understood this complex agenda.’

‘We got people fired up about making a difference within their teams themselves,’ adds Helen Wrench, Macmillan Quality Improvement Facilitator. ‘Then we helped them along.’ Integral to the success of this work has been the continuous involvement of people affected by cancer. One example of this is the dedicated user involvement group that worked alongside the project team, sharing their unique experiences and influencing decision making.

Emily Sidebottom, Macmillan User Involvement Coordinator, says, ‘This work simply couldn’t have happened without patients and carers. Their commitment to improving the system for others has been truly inspiring.’

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


Macmillan Palliative Care In-Reach Nursing Team, Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust

The Macmillan Palliative Care In-Reach Nursing Team was designed to increase the early identification of palliative care patients admitted to hospital. By taking a proactive approach to assessing patients in acute hubs, the team is transforming the way palliative care patients – and their families – are supported. The resulting outcomes are appropriate symptom management, shorter hospital stays and, ultimately, a return to the patient’s preferred place of care.

The team use an electronic database to screen all patients who have been admitted to hospital within the previous 24 hours. This initiates a holistic assessment which eliminates the need for formal referrals, and ensures that all patients with actual or potential palliative care needs are reviewed quickly. As well as transforming the patient experience, the two In-Reach Clinical Nurse Specialists are driving a change in hospital culture by educating, empowering and upskilling medical teams in palliative care.

‘Patients and their families can be upset because they don’t want to be in hospital’ says Genevieve Russell, Macmillan Palliative Care In-Reach Clinical Nurse Specialist. ‘But having us alongside them seems to take some anxiety away. The simple act of showing people that you’ve got time for them can be a really powerful thing.’

‘Nobody wants their loved one to suffer at the end of life and, by having us come in early on, they don’t have to,’ adds Christopher Dokelman, Macmillan Palliative Care In-Reach Clinical Nurse Specialist. ‘You can’t put a price on that.’

If you have any questions about the teams work please email Shaeen Dalvi, Partnership Quality Lead.