WATCH: Highest praise for ‘amazing’ Aylesford cancer nurses

Carole Connor and some of her team. L-R. Pauline Howes, Rachael Jones, Glynis Ryman, Carole, Sarah McDonald, Lilly Varghese and Mark Gillett. Image byNeil O'Connor.

Carole Connor and some of her team. L-R. Pauline Howes, Rachael Jones, Glynis Ryman, Carole, Sarah McDonald, Lilly Varghese and Mark Gillett. Image byNeil O'Connor.

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A round-the-clock nursing team at Warwick Hospital has had its dedication and hard work praised with one of the profession’s top awards.

The Aylesford Unit staff were given the Cancer Nursing Award in recognition of their contributions to care with an innovative and completely nurse-led care unit.

Run by RCNi Nurse Awards, the prestigious honour was presented in recognition of the unit’s acute oncology and chemotherapy service.

The team is part of South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust and has since been praised by staff and patients across the hospital for going above and beyond each day.

The service offers daily acute oncology care at the hospital all led under nurse consultant Carole Connor who has expressed delight that the team’s care for patients has been so successful.

Describing the unit’s success as a testament to her staff, she said: “Receiving this award is rewarding for myself and our team.

We never forget that our patients and their carers are at the heart of what we do

Carole Connor

“We never forget that our patients and their carers are at the heart of what we do. As a team we are wholeheartedly committed to delivering the best possible care to these patients and carers.

“Achieving this would not have been possible without the continued support from our medical staff and other health professionals who make an essential contribution to our services.”

Before the serve was set up by the hard-working team, patients faced a 60-mile round trip to a cancer centre, something which pushed Carole and her team to ensure things could, and would change.

The new entirely nurse-led unit was set up and now boasts a team of advanced nurse practitioners who take on procedures previously undertaken by medical staff, including prescribing chemotherapy.

It now offers fully nurse-led outpatient clinics and they have a continual focus on education, with no waiting lists.

Patient information and support – including a complementary therapy service – is included and nurses have developed a tailored ‘just in case’ pack in case patients need to go to A&E with unexpected complications.

The unit has been such a success that the trust has commissioned the team to open another unit at Stratford Hospital.

News of the award arrived in time to help mark Nurses Day and events were held across the Trust’s hospitals throughout the county.

Director of Nursing Helen Lancaster said this was an ideal time to look into ongoing work by the team.

“I get to see first-hand the professional and compassionate care that is provided by our Aylesford Unit Nursing Team so I’m thrilled that it has been recognised by such a respected organisation,” she said.

“Nurses’ Day is a great opportunity to celebrate all of our nursing staff and the difference they make to our patients every day.”

The award was sponsored by Macmillan Cancer Support, and Monica Burchell, from the charity spoke out in delight at this year’s winners.

She said: “Being diagnosed with cancer can be devastating. So when you’re going through treatment, to know that you have people striving to improve your experience of care is really reassuring.”