Worthing and St Richard’s Hospitals have both received a national award for their commitment to patients living with Myeloma.
Both hospitals from the University Hospitals Sussex NHS Foundation Trust were today presented with the Myeloma UK Clinical Service Excellence Programme (CSEP) Award in recognition of their outstanding care and dedication to patients with myeloma, an incurable blood cancer which claims the lives of 3,000 people in the UK each year.
Staff were praised for their efforts to improve patients’ quality of life and eagerness to truly listen to their needs.
The accolade, awarded by charity Myeloma UK, recognises hospitals’ commitment to raising the bar for treatment and providing compassionate and personalised care to patients.
Amanda Justice, Myeloma Clinical Nurse Specialist at University Hospitals Sussex NHS Foundation Trust, said: “This is a huge honour for our teams, and recognises that patients are at the heart of this service as we strive to deliver excellent care every time.
“Working with Myeloma UK enables us to confidently signpost and provide patients and their families with information and advice specific to their cancer. Having access to their resources and the ability to share knowledge in myeloma treatment and care through their platform, not only complements but also enhances the care, treatment and support we currently offer at UHSussex.”
Between them, these hospitals have around 400 patients with myeloma on their register and see on average 40 new patients each year.
Myeloma is especially hard to spot as its symptoms are often vague and dismissed as ageing or other minor conditions.
By the time many patients are diagnosed their cancer has often advanced and they require urgent treatment. This can significantly impact their chances of survival and quality of life.
Monica Morris, Clinical Practice Services Senior Projects Officer at Myeloma UK, said: “Myeloma is a complex cancer which can be challenging to manage so we were extremely impressed by both hospitals’ willingness to adapt and offer bespoke care. Staff truly go the extra mile to build trust with patients, understand their needs and take their feedback on board.
“For example, patients at St Richard’s can now have blood tests done as part of their regular appointment to save them from exhausting and, in the wake of the cost-of-living crisis, potentially expensive back and forth trips to hospital.
“Nurse Amanda Justice has developed a special database tracking patients’ cancer to make sure they only receive information relevant to their particular situation at every stage of their disease and don’t get too overwhelmed.
“Having a clinical trials team across our sites also makes a tremendous difference to patients’ lives. Over time myeloma becomes resistant to treatments which means patients are heavily reliant on new experimental drugs to keep their cancer in check.
A wider multidisciplinary team have been instrumental in achieving this award. These include colleagues from blood sciences, who ensured that testing and transfusions could happen in a timely manner, and pharmacists who made sure that treatments were readily available and dispensed for safe care.
Hom Ramkelawon, Haematology Matron, said: “I want to express my appreciation to the wider multidisciplinary team, including clinical, allied health professionals, as well as administrative and support services, for all their help in making it possible for us to achieve this award. It is a true reflection of the Trust’s commitment to making a positive impact on the lives of our patients.”
Lisa Barrott, Divisional Director of Nursing for the cancer division at University Hospitals Sussex NHS Foundation Trust said: “Our haematology multi-professional teams at Worthing and St Richard’s Hospital have worked incredibly hard to meet the Myeloma UK CSEP Award stringent criteria. To have their dedication, professionalism and focus on providing myeloma patients with outstanding care recognised at a national level is a real credit to them.
“We are hugely proud to have these teams within the cancer division at UHSussex, where we always strive to ensure excellent care and innovative approaches to service provision are at the centre of our clinical strategy for cancer pathways.”