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

Tollene Riley has been appointed as a Mesothelioma UK Clinical Nurse Specialist and will be based at the Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals, part of the Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust.

Tollene will provide nursing care and support for mesothelioma (asbestos-related cancer) patients in Surrey and will link with colleagues across the region to promote equitable access to mesothelioma specific support and treatment throughout the region.

In her new role, Tollene will focus on caring for patients with mesothelioma from diagnosis and throughout treatment. She will provide specialist support and advice to patients, families, healthcare professionals, and link in with local patient support groups.

Tollene qualified as a Registered Nurse in 1991 and began working in general medicine before moving into coronary care and later cardiothoracic intensive care, firstly in Leeds and then in London.

In 2009, Tollene became a clinical nurse specialist for blood transfusion which she enjoyed but eventually wanted to make a return to a role with more patient contact. In 2021, she became clinical nurse specialist for lung cancer, which is where she experienced caring for mesothelioma patients.

Commenting on her new role, Tollene said: “During the last year in my new role as Lung Cancer Clinical Nurse Specialist, I have met a number of patients who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma. I wanted to be able to offer informed support and I am therefore very pleased to have been adopted by Mesothelioma UK and have the opportunity to learn from the wealth of expert knowledge available through the charity.

“I am keen to develop the service we offer patients with mesothelioma and my adoption by Mesothelioma UK, and the chance to work with the Royal Marsden and Partners Cancer Alliance, will have a positive impact on the care of our patients.”

Lorraine Creech, Head of Nursing for Mesothelioma UK, added: “Mesothelioma UK welcomes Tollene to our growing team of 33 clinical nurse specialists, 28 in substantive posts and 5 in adopted posts, adding to our coverage of Cancer Alliance regions around the UK. I’m sure that she will be an invaluable source of information and support to patients and families affected by mesothelioma, and also to her healthcare colleagues at the Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust.”

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