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Staff at Chelsea cancer service honoured for life-changing work

18 November 2016

Staff behind a Macmillan service at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital have been recognised with a national award for their innovative work supporting local people affected by cancer.

Staff behind a Macmillan service at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital have been recognised with a national award for their innovative work supporting local people affected by cancer.

The Acute Diagnostic Oncology Clinic (ADOC) team was presented with an Innovation Excellence Award at the prestigious 2016 Macmillan Excellence Awards, held at The Hilton Metropole Hotel in Birmingham on 17 November.

The team were handed the accolade by Welsh TV celebrity, Gethin Jones, and Macmillan’s President, Lady Camilla Halifax, in an awards ceremony attended by more than 300 Macmillan professionals as well as representatives from the charity and leading healthcare institutions.

ADOC is a new diagnostic pathway for patients with suspected cancer who are too unwell to wait the standard two weeks following GP referral. The nurse-led clinic aims to see patients within 24 hours and provides faster access to diagnostic tests, resulting in quicker diagnosis (on average within 7 days) and earlier treatment.

Macmillan Clinical Nurse Specialist in Acute Oncology, Rachel Sharkey, said: “Through this service, we’ve seen 98% of patients within 24 hours of referral – some on the same day of referral.

“Our patients are understandably very anxious, so we provide support throughout their visit and follow-up appointments. There is continuity throughout.”

Project Manager, Jo Simmons, added: “It’s been enormously rewarding to prove that diagnosis and treatment time can be reduced for this group of patients by using current resources, but by working differently.” 

Ed Tallis, Head of Services for Macmillan in London, said: “It’s fantastic that a team which provides such vital care for very ill patients has been recognised for its unique and creative approach to speeding up diagnosis and treatment times.

“In London alone there are over 219,400 people living with or beyond cancer. With this figure set to double by 2030, it is local services, such as the Acute Diagnostic Oncology Clinic, that will play a crucial part in ensuring that cancer patients in the area can get the help they need as quickly as possible.”

The Macmillan Excellence Awards, which are now in their fifth year, were developed to celebrate the outstanding work carried out by Macmillan health and social care professionals across the country. The event recognised excellence in three areas: service improvement, innovation and integration.

No one should face cancer alone. For support, information or if you have any questions, call Macmillan Cancer Support free on 0808 808 00 00 (Monday to Friday, 9am–8pm) or visit macmillan.org.uk.