An oncology development manager from Cardiff is a finalist for a Macmillan Excellence Award for driving the establishment of specialist urgent cancer services across Wales.
Rosie Roberts, Macmillan Acute Oncology Service Quality Assurance Development and Support Manager, worked tirelessly to support the emergency cancer services that are now offered in every acute hospital in Wales.
Based at the Wales Cancer Network in Cardiff, Rosie was nominated by her colleagues in the Integration Excellence Award category, which recognises nominees who have improved the coordination of services and enabled integration across settings to provide a seamless experience for people living with cancer.
The Acute Oncology Services (AOS) championed by Rosie provide vital care for cancer patients who become very unwell either because of their cancer or their cancer treatment.
As well as providing immediate care for cancer patients experiencing severe side effects from cancer treatment, such as infections and uncontrollable vomiting, cancer specialists under the service are on hand to treat people who are diagnosed through Accident and Emergency.
Macmillan first supported a service of this kind in Wales in partnership with Cardiff and the Vale University Health Board in 2014, and since, Rosie has used her expertise and determination to educate and support new acute oncology services throughout the country.
While patients were previously at risk of lengthy hospital admissions and delays in receiving treatment, specialists at AOS are now able to review those who present at the hospital, and ensure they receive care they need, or are referred onto the appropriate service or professional.
Rosie, who lives in Cardiff, explained: “We’ve been able to demonstrate that these services are making a real impact. Not only are they reducing the stay of patients, but they are also avoiding admissions by helping acute teams to make decisions about whether patients need to be admitted or not. That’s been fantastic. My role is all about supporting these new AOS teams and providing them with education, skills and resources to help them flourish. I’m fortunate to have gained lots of skills and expertise during my career, and I feel passionately that it’s the duty of people with specialist knowledge to share it.”
Richard Pugh, Head of Services (Wales) for Macmillan Cancer Support, said: “Acute Oncology Services are making such a huge difference to the experiences of people with cancer across the country. The development of these services is an example of how Macmillan is working with the NHS to enhance service capacity and improve access to our specialist cancer workforce throughout Wales. Rosie has such passion, determination and commitment and we are so proud of her to have been recognised for this as a finalist in the Macmillan Excellence Awards.”
The annual awards, which are now in their eighth year and will be held on Thursday 7 November, are an opportunity for Macmillan to recognise and thank pioneering teams and individuals who deliver the highest standards of care for people living with cancer.
Last year more than 350 Macmillan professionals, as well as representatives from Macmillan and leading healthcare institutions attended the awards ceremony.
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.