FIRST UK PERITONEAL MESOTHELIOMA CLINICAL NURSE SPECIALIST APPOINTED

Samantha Westbrook’s new post based at Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital, funded by Mesothelioma UK

Samantha Westbrook has been appointed as the first Peritoneal Mesothelioma Clinical Nurse Specialist in the UK. This new post has been funded by Mesothelioma UK and will be based at Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital.

Mesothelioma is a cancer related to exposure to asbestos and Peritoneal Mesothelioma is the less common form of the disease that causes the peritoneum (lining of the abdomen) to thicken and fluid to collect. This collection of fluid is called ascites and causes the abdomen to swell.

In her new role, Samantha will work alongside the Peritoneal Malignancy Multi-Disciplinary Team (MDT) to support, advise and signpost Peritoneal Mesothelioma patients and their families from across the UK. This will help to deliver the most effective treatment (including surgical options), care and awareness of available benefits.

Prior to joining Mesothelioma UK, Samantha worked as a lung cancer nurse for five years at Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital, dealing with oncology and pleural mesothelioma cases. Prior to this, she was based at Frimley Park Hospital in Surrey where she worked in Critical Care for seven years in a role that developed into being Practice Educator for the unit.

Commenting on her new role, Samantha said: “I’m bringing experience in critical care, lung cancer and oncology to this new role and am really looking forward to specialising in this particular area. Mesothelioma UK is all about the patients and my appointment will enable me to fully support Peritoneal Mesothelioma patients in a ‘key worker’ capacity to ensure that they get the best attention possible.

“I’m also interested in looking at the research side of the patient diagnosis and journey, and seeing how this data can help to influence my role and our approach to treating Peritoneal Mesothelioma over time.”

Liz Darlison, Mesothelioma UK Head of Services, added: “ Mesothelioma UK have been committed to doing all that we can to improve services and access to treatment and care for those affected by Peritoneal Mesothelioma. Appointing Samantha into this post is a major step that we are delighted to reach and we are so thankful for all the Mesothelioma UK supporters whose generation donations have made this possible.

“Samantha will be working closely with the charity’s team of 20 nurses who are based all over the UK to ensure, regardless of where you live, if you are affected by peritoneal mesothelioma you will have access to the best treatment and care available.”

Julie Dawes, chief nurse at Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Basingstoke Hospital, Royal Hampshire County Hospital, in Winchester, and Andover War Memorial Hospital, said: “We are delighted to have been able to appoint Samantha to this new role and we are very grateful to Mesothelioma UK for providing the funding to make it happen.

“Having the UK’s first specialist nurse in this particular form of cancer will make a big difference not only for patients in Hampshire, but across the entire country.”