New mesothelioma nurse specialist appointed for East Kent

Toni Fleming has been appointed as a new Mesothelioma UK Clinical Nurse Specialist for East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust. Toni Fleming will be based at Kent and Canterbury Hospital and will be supporting mesothelioma patients across the East Kent region with their treatment and care.

Toni will be working alongside Mesothelioma UK Clinical Nurse Specialist, Louise Gilham in Kent. The new role will be fully-funded by the Mavis Nye Foundation for the first two years. The Mavis Nye Foundation was set up three years ago by Mavis Nye, the longest-living mesothelioma patient who has been treated with immunotherapy in the UK and a patient advocate for Mesothelioma UK.

Toni Fleming has been a Lung Cancer Nurse Specialist since 2004 and a General Nurse since 1995. She has worked in lung cancer and palliative care throughout her career.

Commenting on her new role, Toni said: “East Kent has a particularly high proportion of mesothelioma patients so I’m delighted to be working with Louise and the wider Mesothelioma UK team to support our patient community. I’ve been working with Mavis since her initial diagnosis and the support of her Foundation and donors has been critical in establishing this new role.”

Mavis Nye said: “The Foundation came about because I was surviving longer than my diagnosis and I wanted some way to pay back for the wonderful care that I was getting from the NHS. I had run the groups on Facebook as I wanted to share all of the information that I was researching. Eleven years ago, there wasn’t so much available and an internet search only brought up horror stories. I wanted to spread hope.

“The Foundation was born and money was and still is being donated so I was able to establish my legacy. I’m really thrilled to have a Mesothelioma UK nurse in East Kent and even more thrilled that Toni accepted the post. She will take my legacy forward.

“The Foundation is still having successes so we have plans for this year to follow the research grant that we awarded and we will be offering more grants in 2021. I’m alive today because of research so it really is important in the story of mesothelioma that we are all playing our part.”

Mary Mulhall, solicitor at Hugh James and Chair of the Mavis Nye Foundation said: “It is thanks to the generosity of so many people who have supported the Mavis Nye Foundation with their donations that we are able to fund this post. It is essential to have specialist nurses supporting mesothelioma patients and we are delighted to be able to contribute in this way and support a second dedicated Mesothelioma UK nurse in Kent.”

Lorraine Creech, Head of Nursing for Mesothelioma UK, added: “We are delighted to welcome Toni to the Mesothelioma UK Clinical Nurse Specialist Team. Toni has a wealth of experience in lung cancer, mesothelioma and palliative care, and she has already become integral to our nursing team.

“We know that there is a high incidence of mesothelioma within the Kent and Medway Cancer Alliance according to the National Mesothelioma Report (2020) and we are pleased that Toni will be able to work alongside Louise Gilham with the aim of improving the support, care and treatment for people with mesothelioma. We are extremely grateful to the Mavis Nye Foundation for providing funding for this new role.”