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Mesothelioma UK nurses - 14 and counting

The Mesothelioma UK Clinical Nurse Specialists (CNSs) are going from strength to strength. Currently we have fourteen nurses based at Leicester Portsmouth, Manchester, Newcastle, Sheffield, Oxford, Glasgow, Wales Yorkshire, Plymouth and Cambridge and are supported by two national CNS Team Leaders, Anne Moylan and Lorraine Creech.

Excitingly, as we move towards the end of 2017 we will have five more. Two of these posts will be based in London. One at Guys and St Thomas’s NHS Trust and one at St Bartholomew’s NHS Trust. The other three posts will be based in Kent, Southampton and Liverpool.

The Southampton post will also have a responsibility towards supporting veterans

nationally and the service will also be closely linked to a new Mesothelioma UK Welfare Rights and Benefits Advisor.

The expansion of the team will mean that, nationally, there will be more equity in terms of access to a mesothelioma specialist nurse. This will assist with supporting the NHS to drive up standards and improve access to world class treatment, trials and care.

Our nurses are pivotal to improving access to information locally and nationally through the written information we provide, via the website and our freephone helpline. The nurses also endeavour to make sure patients are discussed at

multidisciplinary team meetings and that patients and carers have access to a support group.

Our ambition does not stop at 18 nurses though and to reach truly equitable access to a mesothelioma CNSs across the UK we feel we need to increase to 28/30 nurses as outlined in the Mesothelioma UK 5-year strategy. These are ambitious plans which is why we are always working to raise the profile of not only Mesothelioma

UK, but the disease itself. We rely totally on donations, fundraising, sponsorship and legacies and will work hard to ensure every patient in the UK has access to world class treatment and care.

“Being a Meso UK nurse to me is an honour and privilege, and I have felt incredibly humbled by the reception of the Southwest and the support that they have given me. I never underestimate, or take for granted, the gift of being allowed to accompany those afflicted with asbestos related disease as they walk their pathway, and equally,

I never fail to be amazed at the support we, as a team, offer each other. It is, simply, the best job on the planet,” said Christine Jones, CNS