East Lancashire cancer team wins top award

An East Lancashire-based specialist cancer team who go above and beyond for people living with cancer in Lancashire and South Cumbria has been honoured with a Macmillan award.

By Dominic Collis
Friday, 5th November 2021, 3:22 pm

The Pancreatic Cancer Rapid Diagnostic Service, based at East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust, was awarded the Integration Excellence Award for their inspirational work to support people living with cancer across Lancashire and South Cumbria.

The Integration Excellence Award category recognises individuals and teams who have improved the coordination of services and enabled integration across settings such acute, primary, social and voluntary or through digital services, to provide a seamless experience for people living with cancer.

The annual awards recognise the incredible work of Macmillan professionals and teams up and down the country over the past year and beyond. The Pancreatic Cancer Rapid Diagnostic Service team was nominated by colleagues for their dedication to supporting people living with cancer in Lancashire and South Cumbria area.

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Award winners

The Pancreatic Cancer Rapid Diagnostic Service (RDS) at East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust is working collaboratively to considerably reduce waiting times for patients to be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer – and to also improve the overall patient experience.

Pancreas Specialist Nurse, Vicki Stevenson-Hornby, explained: “These patients are often getting devastating news, so it’s important that we support them through that. Diagnosing people earlier means we might be able to reach them at a stage when they’re still able to have surgery. We can’t do that for everyone, but we can support from the point of that referral.”

Lead Cancer Nurse, Caroline Rogers, said: “We are improving their quality of life. By diagnosing earlier, some patients will get chemotherapy which they wouldn’t have otherwise had. Also, we’re giving people the time to put their affairs in order and to say their goodbyes.”

The service offers a personalised and rapid diagnosis of patients’ symptoms. By working collaborative with colleagues across the Trust, the Lancashire and South Cumbria Cancer Alliance and primary care networks, the service has reduced the average wait time from GP referral to diagnosis from 46 days to 21 days. It also offers crucial holistic support to patients at the point of referral rather than the point of diagnosis.

Linda McLean, Head of Partnerships for Macmillan Cancer Support North of England, added: “The Macmillan Excellence Awards are an annual opportunity to show our appreciation for Macmillan professionals, who work tirelessly day in day out to make a real difference for people with cancer in Lancashire and South Cumbria.

“The awards highlight the partnership work between Macmillan and the NHS and other partners, with roles usually funded thanks to the public’s generosity.

“This year that work has been more vital than ever, due to the challenges that the coronavirus pandemic has brought.

“We are incredibly proud of the Pancreatic Cancer Rapid Diagnostic Service and all our professionals, and their continued commitment to going above and beyond in their work.”

Macmillan’s prestigious and independent awards highlight excellence across the UK and the impact of Macmillan professionals and teams who have done whatever it takes to support people living with cancer.

The awards allow Macmillan to bring to celebrate our professionals’ unique spirit by showcasing not just what Macmillan professionals do, but how they do it.

For support, information or a chat, call Macmillan Cancer Support free on 0808 808 00 00 (Monday to Friday, 9am–8pm) or visit macmillan.org.uk.