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North Mid wins top award for cancer care

North Middlesex University Hospital NHS Trust (North Mid) has scooped a national award for its commitment to patients living with incurable blood cancer.

The hospital’s haematology team was presented with the Myeloma UK Clinical Service Excellence Programme (CSEP) Award on Monday (November 1) in recognition of its outstanding care and unflagging dedication to patients with myeloma, an incurable blood cancer which claims the lives of 3,000 people in the UK 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 advanced and they require urgent treatment. This can significantly impact their chances of survival and quality of life. 

The accolade, awarded by charity Myeloma UK, recognises hospitals’ commitment to raising the bar for treatment and providing compassionate and individualised care to patients.

Millicent Blake-McCoy, Haematology Advanced Nurse Practitioner at North Mid, said: “I am delighted that we have achieved this prestigious award. I am proud to play a pivotal role for the myeloma patients, supporting them with the complexities of their condition. Our team has worked very hard to keep our patients at the centre of our work, giving personalised care to everyone as much as possible. Getting this award has truly highlighted our commitment and we will continue supporting our myeloma patients.”

The Myeloma UK CSEP programme assesses a range of criteria including testing and diagnosis, research and clinical trials, end of life care, information and support, patient experience, treatment and supportive care, multidisciplinary team working and awareness, education and referral.

North Mid’s haematology department was praised by Myeloma UK Head of Clinical Practice Services, Suzanne Renwick, for its “multidisciplinary team working, treatment and supportive care, and end of life care.” She also commended the initiative and leadership of Haematology Advanced Nurse Practitioner Millicent Blake-McCoy, who recently launched a patient support group, and Consultant Haematologist Dr Neil Rabin, describing them as “invaluable to the myeloma/haematology team”.

She said: “As a charity working to ensure patients’ needs are met at every stage of their treatment, we were especially impressed by staff’s commitment to patients and their eagerness to find new innovative ways to improve their service.”

Thymios Petrou, from Southgate, has been receiving treatment for myeloma at the hospital since October 2018.

“They deserve it,” said the 72-year-old. “They’ve all been very attentive and I feel very secure that they are there for me. Two weeks after I was diagnosed, I had cracked ribs and went to Casualty at the hospital. When Dr Rabin heard about it, he came upstairs to see if I was OK. He arranged everything, the scans… The care I’ve received has been impeccable.”

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