A top award has been presented to Leeds Teaching Hospitals by Macmillan Cancer Support.

The Radiotherapy Department in the Leeds Cancer Centre at St James’s Hospital has been awarded the Macmillan Quality Environment Mark (MQEM) which recognises high standards in cancer care.

To celebrate, a presentation ceremony took place in the department.

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Steve Edwards, Macmillan Development Manager for West Yorkshire, awarded a plaque to staff. He said: “This award reflects the hard work and dedication of the team that designed the department and all the staff who work to make it a welcoming and supportive environment for patients and their families so no one has to face cancer alone.

“To receive the award, environments have to score highly in areas such as use of space, comfort and atmosphere, personal and social interaction and health and well being – all areas highlighted as really important by people living with cancer who helped develop the award.”

The MQEM is a detailed quality framework used for assessing whether cancer care environments meet the standards required by people living with cancer. The quality mark, the first of its kind in the UK, has been developed by Macmillan Cancer Support in collaboration with people living with cancer and stakeholders including the Department of Health.

The radiotherapy department at St James’s is one of the largest in the UK. The MQEM assessment highlighted the “well designed” spaces within the department and overall standard of patient care and support. The development of the Bridge Clinic is an example of this. This is a project set up to tackle the anxiety many patients face after they have finished treatment. The clinic, a monthly meeting hosted by a range of healthcare professionals, aims to help patients resume everyday life. There was also praise for the department’s user involvement initiatives, which has allowed patients to help shape the department into what it is today.

Julie Owens, Head of Radiotherapy at the Leeds Cancer Centre, said:  “This is a fantastic accolade for the whole team here in the Bexley Wing and we are so proud to have this independent confirmation of the quality of the care we offer.  All our services are dedicated to providing the best possible experience for our patients throughout their treatment as well as supporting their recovery.”

To help more people living with cancer, Macmillan relies on public donations. To find out ways you can give, call Clara White, Macmillan fundraising manager in Leeds on 07809 554960 or email cwhite@macmillan.org.uk

Hilda Knowles Award Goes To Cancer Ambulatory Care Team. 

Hilda Knowles Award

One of the highlights of this year’s Leeds Teaching Hospitals’ Nursing and Midwifery conference was the announcement of the winner of the annual Hilda Knowles Award.

Now in its 11th year, the award was set up by Mr Adrian Knowles and family and is for excellence and innovation in the care of adult patients at hospitals in Leeds.

Speaking at the awards event, held at the Royal Armouries in Leeds, Mr Knowles describe the entries as “absolutely marvellous” and spoke of the tremendous difficulty the judges had in choosing a winner.

This year’s award went to Anne-Marie Kenny and the Ambulatory Care Team.  This innovative, multi-disciplinary, patient focused service for those diagnosed with cancer provides treatment outside a traditional ward setting. Patients are monitored closely during and after their treatment in the Unit, and are given 24 hour contact details should there be any issues.

This means patients maintain their independence and overall wellbeing by spending less time in hospital, and also thereby reduce waiting times for those people whose treatments do require them to be inpatients.

Overall, patients are now receiving their chemotherapy treatment up to five times faster, and there has been a 20% reduction in elective inpatient admissions within haematology.

The team plan to use the prize money to provide wi-fi services to the Ambulatory Care Unit to further improve the patient experience, and to make their time there more comfortable.

Runners-up were the Neurosurgical Patient Experience Improvement Team and the Breast Cancer Clinical Nurse Specialist Service.

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