Cancer nurses host day of celebration

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The specialist cancer nurses at Milton Keynes Hospital hosted an all day event at the hospital’s main reception on Friday, as part of the Royal College of Nursing’s annual Nurses’ Day celebration.

Staff, patients and visitors were able to come and talk to the team from the hospital’s Macmillan Unit about any aspect of cancer – from health worries to how to access the specialist support and advice offered by the hospital’s Macmillan Nurses for patients with a cancer diagnosis.

Milton Keynes Hospital’s dedicated Macmillan Unit was one of the first units of its kind to be awarded the Macmillan Quality Environment Mark for its comfortable surroundings and caring staff. The hospital is also the first in the country to have all senior nurses specialising in cancer and palliative care to have achieved Macmillan status.

Pamela Steer, the Upper Gastro-Intestinal Cancer Specialist Nurse, was one of the many nurses on the stand who enjoyed talking to staff, patients and visitors throughout the day. She said: “Many people who have been diagnosed with cancer are aware of the Macmillan Unit but there are others who aren’t. Today was a great opportunity for us to raise the profile of the unit and the work we do. A lot of people think Macmillan nurses are just there at the end but this isn’t the case. We’re available before diagnosis and throughout treatment to offer help and support.”

Tony Halton, Director of Nursing at Milton Keynes Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Nurses’ Day is quite rightly a nationwide celebration of the amazing people that make up the nursing profession in the UK. Here at Milton Keynes Hospital our nurses are the people that patients and their families interact with 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. They are there to look after the very young and they are there to support people and their families at the sad time when life comes to an end - as well as all the ups and downs in between. The dedication and commitment of the nursing staff at Milton Keynes Hospital makes a real difference to the quality of care and the experience that patients receive.”

The event concluded with a special cake-cutting ceremony attended by the hospital’s Head of Nursing, Julie Willison, and Chief Operating Officer, Darren Leech.