Pictured are, from left to right, Mairi Smith, Donna Parkes, Mary Buchanan, Kathryn Macsween, Fiona Creighton, Gill Chadwick, Chris Ann Maclean and Hazel Hebditch.

A top team that provides a truly supportive and patient-focused service to people affected by cancer in the Western Isles was recently shortlisted in the Cancer Nursing category of this year’s Nursing Times Awards.

Members of the NHS Western Isles Macmillan team attended a prestigious awards ceremony in London.

With 22 targeted categories, the awards cover every aspect of the nursing profession, from ‘Nurse of the Year’ to ‘Patient Safety Improvement’ and ‘The HRH The Prince of Wales Award for Integrated Approaches to Care’.

Nine teams were shortlisted in the Cancer Nursing category, with Velindre NHS Trust winning the overall award. The NHS Western Isles team was the only Scottish team to have been shortlisted in the category.

NHS Western Isles Lead Cancer Nurse, Gill Chadwick, said that she was ‘ready to burst with pride!’

She added: “I am so proud of the hard work that each and every Macmillan Nurse here does. I know I will not be the only one to say that they all do ‘go that extra mile’. They are serious advocates for their patients, fighting their corner when help is needed. We can’t forget the solid foundations of the team that were built around previous Macmillan Nurses too which included, during my tenure here, Lorna Senior and Lilian Rodgers. They can claim some of this praise as well. Both Lorna and Lilian’s posts have been filled by equally good, committed nurses, This is such a prestigious award for nursing and nurses in the UK so to be one of those shortlisted is tremendous.”

NHS Western Isles Chief Executive, Gordon Jamieson, said: “What an excellent and well-deserved achievement this is for the Macmillan team! The team provides a unique and well-respected service for people affected by cancer. The work they do is truly patient-focused and seamless. The feedback our team receives from patients demonstrates how highly valued the service is to local patients and families. For the team to have been shortlisted for this UK award, which follows the team winning ‘Cancer Team of the Year UK’ in February, further affirms what a high quality service the team provides to our local population.”

NHS Western Isles Chair, Neil Galbraith, also offered his congratulations, stating: “Many congratulations to the Macmillan team. To be nominated for consideration at this national level is a significant achievement. Recognition of the service offered in the Western Isles is a reassurance to the public that living in the Western Isles, on the periphery of Scotland, is no barrier to receiving health care of the highest quality.”

Macmillan Partnership Quality Lead, Sian Marchant, said: “It is wonderful news that the Macmillan Nurse team has once again been recognised for its commitment and dedication to people affected by cancer on the Western Isles.

“The team provides support for not only the individual but their family throughout the whole of their cancer journey ensuring that people on the Western Isles do not face cancer alone.”

Commenting about the Nursing Times Awards, Jenni Middleton, Editor, Nursing Times, said: “Every year, I am impressed by the fantastic quality improvement projects led by nurses and the impact their work has on the patients, residents and service users they care for.

“My congratulations to all of the nurses shortlisted and especially those who have won our coveted Nursing Times Awards. They deserve the praise of the profession and all of us at Nursing Times not just for putting together award-winning improvements, but having the determination, insight and intelligence to introduce these innovations against a backdrop that is getting more and more challenging. They deserve the recognition the NT Awards gives them and our respect. Well done to all our finalists for their talent and tenacity in making their care settings a safer and genuinely better.”

The local Macmillan team is made up of Donna Parkes, Macmillan Nurse Specialist; Hazel Hebditch, Macmillan Breast and Lymphoedema Nurse Specialist; Fiona Creighton, Macmillan Nurse Specialist, Benbecula; Chris Ann Maclean, Macmillan Stoma and Colorectal Nurse Specialist; Mairi Smith, Macmillan Nurse; Kathryn Macsween, Macmillan Nurse; Mary Buchanan, Macmillan Nurse, Benbecula; and Gill Chadwick, Macmillan Lead Cancer Nurse.

NT Awards: Hazel Hebditch, Macmillan Breast and Lymphoedema Nurse Specialist, attended the event with Fiona Creighton, Macmillan Nurse Specialist.