The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre has been shortlisted in two categories in the prestigious RCNi Awards. The awards celebrate the very best in nursing care and cover a wide range of specialties, including cancer nursing. They are widely regarded as the highest accolade for nurses in the UK and more than 700 entries have been reduced to a shortlist of just 70 finalists.
Among them is Lucy Jane Taylor, Clinical Nurse Specialist in Teenage and Young Adult Unit at The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre Wirral, a finalist in The Patients’ Choice Award. This category is for members of the public to thank a nurse, midwife, health visitor, healthcare assistant or assistant practitioner who has made a real difference to their or a loved one’s healthcare. The winner will be decided by a public vote and announced at a ceremony in July.
Lucy and the team were nominated by Fiona Irvine for the care they gave to her daughter Primrose Isterling which she described as “outstanding”. She told the judges that Lucy – with senior staff nurses Luke Millward-Browning, Charlotte Edgar, Natalie Jones, Joanne Connell and Sarah Smith – had excellent clinical skills and were confident in their practice and highly skilled in the delivery of care.
Primrose sadly died aged 24 as a result of colorectal cancer late last year. Fiona, who is a professor of nursing, said the nursing team made her daughter feel loved while providing expert care.
She said: “I could only name a few of those who cared for Primrose but every single individual member of staff seemed to me to have her best interests at heart. I always felt she was in safe hands clinically and that they respected her wishes and spirit, enabling her to remain the individual young woman she was.”
Primrose got married to Tim, 26, last summer while she was under treatment at The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre. Her mum said staff were always on hand with advice and help while the family planned for the festival themed marriage near their home in Tremeirchion, north Wales.
She added: “The staff supported her throughout all the planning for the wedding, they showed a real interest in her life and did everything they could to make sure her treatment fitted in. They were so flexible and that was very important.
“It wasn’t just the clinical care that was outstanding, it was everything that went with it. She had fun with the staff and loved chatting with them about the wedding planning, about everything.”
Primrose loved to travel and Fiona said staff worked hard to make holidays as stress free as possible.
“They would write out a full list of her medication to make it easier and quicker to get through customs and were always on hand for a call or a text while she was away if we had any concerns. The care she received face to face and the work they did for her in the background was excellent. She never wanted to be in hospital but when she was, she knew she was in the best place. This nomination is on behalf of Primrose.”
Lucy said: “It is humbling that even in such a tragic situation, Fiona found the time to nominate us. It was an honour to nurse Primrose and a pleasure to get to know the family. She really was a great girl. Everything we do is a team effort and we are honoured as a team by this nomination.”
Joanne Upton, Skin Cancer Advanced Nurse Practitioner, is a finalist in the Cancer Nursing category.
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