Cancer teams are finalists for Macmillan Excellence Awards | Our news

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Cancer teams are finalists for Macmillan Excellence Awards

Two teams from Barts Health have been shortlisted for a Macmillan Professionals Excellence award, recognising their inspirational work supporting people living with cancer in North-East London.

The Urology Team at Whipps Cross Hospital and the Macmillan Acute Oncology Service Team at The Royal London Hospital have both been nominated by colleagues in the ‘Quality Improvement Excellence Award’ category which recognises teams who have made significant improvements within an existing service offered to people living with cancer.

The Urology Team at Whipps Cross Hospital implemented a new model of working which combined nursing services that were split across four hospitals sites for Barts Health urological cancer patients.

These improvements have been so novel and effective that Macmillan Nurse Alexandra Smith was asked to present the work at a pan-European scientific meeting. The team have also been invited to run workshops in New Zealand, China, Dubai and Saudi Arabia to share best practice. 

“The most important thing about the big changes that we’ve made is that they are completely patient centred,” said Lead Urology Nurse Paula Allchorne.

“To do that, we had to ask what our patients really wanted – you can never just assume that you know what your patients want. The patient voice is more powerful than anything.”

In North-East London, the number of people who are reluctant to access healthcare and are diagnosed with cancer at A&E is higher than average. The Macmillan Acute Oncology Service (AOS) team are there for those people.

The service, which covers three acute hospitals - Newham University Hospital, Whipps Cross University Hospital and The Royal London Hospital - has doubled the number of nurses from three to six over the past four years. This service improvement has given the team the capacity to respond to even more acute presentations with compassionate care that meets every patient’s individual physical, emotional, spiritual and financial needs.

The expert team also offer essential support to staff in the emergency department, on the wards and in the community to ensure people with cancer receive the very best person-centred care.

“Our service is a big safety net – it doesn't allow any patient to fall through,” said Lead AOS Consultant Nikos Diamantis. “Patients have their own nurse specialists, they have their own doctors, but everyone now knows that whenever a crisis comes, we will be there.”

Terry is a staff nurse who has worked at Whipps Cross Hospital for 24 years. He has helped the urology nurses in pre-diagnosis prostate cancer clinics. Then he was diagnosed too, and became a member of the patient support group.

He said: “I’m so grateful to the urology team for providing me with essential advice and support throughout my treatment journey. It means the world to me, and from the bottom of my heart I say thank you.”

The annual awards, which are now in their eighth year are an opportunity for Macmillan to recognise and thank pioneering teams and individuals who deliver the highest standards of care for people living with cancer.

Last year more than 350 Macmillan professionals, as well as representatives from Macmillan and leading healthcare institutions attended the awards ceremony.

For support, information or if you have any questions, call Macmillan Cancer Support free on 0808 808 00 00 (Monday to Friday, 9am–8pm) or visit




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