New Clinical Nurse Specialist appointed to support asbestos-related cancer patients in Northumbria

Helen Wallace has been appointed as a Mesothelioma UK Clinical Nurse Specialist to provide nursing care and support for mesothelioma (asbestos-related cancer) patients in the area. The post is funded by Mesothelioma UK and Helen will be based at the Wansbeck Hospital in Ashington but will also cover Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust’s other general hospitals in Hexham and North Tyneside plus the Northumbria in Cramlington.

As part of the Northern Cancer Alliance, Helen will link with colleagues across the region to promote equitable access to mesothelioma specific support and treatment throughout the north east of England and north Cumbria.

Mesothelioma is a cancer related to exposure to asbestos and predominantly affects the lining of the lungs. The UK has the highest incidence of the disease in the world with around 2,700 people diagnosed each year, with the Northumbria area having some of the highest rates nationally.

Helen has been a lung cancer nurse since 2020 and previously worked on a busy oncology unit. In her new role, Helen will care for patients with mesothelioma from diagnosis and throughout treatment. She will also provide specialist support and advice to families and work with local patient support groups.

Helen will work alongside Mesothelioma UK colleagues Leah Taylor, Head of Nursing, and Joanne Anderson, Clinical Nurse Specialist, to strengthen the support available to patients, families and other healthcare professionals.

Commenting on her new role Helen said: “I’ve always been very interested in mesothelioma and I’m honoured to have this opportunity. I am keen to raise awareness of this rare and complex cancer and hope that no one diagnosed ever feels alone.”

Head of Nursing for Mesothelioma UK, Leah Taylor added: “I am delighted that this opportunity has arisen within Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust. Helen brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the role, and I look forward to working with her to support those affected by mesothelioma within Northumbria and across the north east.”

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