Clinical care is the area in which we fund medical staff and equipment within the Cancer Centre.
Our work in clinical care ensures that anyone going through cancer has the best care available to them when they need it most. Today, Friends of the Cancer Centre funds a senior oncologist and three clinical nurse specialists, each specialising in a different cancer area. In the coming years the charity will welcome an additional 7 specialist cancer nurses to the Friends of the Cancer Centre team, bringing the total of CNS posts funded by the charity to 10. We also support the work of staff on the ground through the on-going funding of vital medical equipment, ensuring that doctors and nurses have the equipment they need to diagnose and treat patients.
Take a look at just some of the recent clinical care projects that we have funded below.
Dr Suneil Jain
Consultant Clinical Oncologist
Dr Jain is a senior oncologist in the Cancer Centre and a Senior Lecturer at Queens University Belfast. His post has been funded by Friends of the Cancer Centre since 2013 and he specialises in the treatment of prostate cancer. He delivers advanced external beam radiotherapy and is one of two oncologists in Northern Ireland who treats patients with prostate brachytherapy. He also utilises chemotherapy and drug therapy in advanced prostate cancer and is involved in many clinical trials. His role is fully integrated with lab-based research at Queen’s University.
Clinical Nurse Specialist for Breast Cancer
Elaine is a vital lynchpin in a patient’s care and she has been funded by the charity for 4 years. Elaine, who is the Cancer Centre’s only breast cancer CNS, works with the consultant team and is the point of information, guidance and support for patients.
Clinical Nurse Specialist for Teenagers and Young Adults
Renée is the point of contact for teenagers and young adults going through treatment. For many young people a cancer diagnosis can be a particularly worrying and confusing time, but Renée is on hand to provide a listening ear, information and guidance for these young people.
Clinical Nurse Specialist for Lymphoma
Laura Croan is the latest addition to our specialist nursing team, providing a dedicated support system for lymphoma patients. The charity ahs also supported the establishment of Laura's own nurse led clinic, which has reduced patient waiting times in its first year.
3D Breast Imaging System
Local breast cancer patients are benefitting from a new state of the art 3D breast imaging system thanks to Friends of the Cancer Centre. The new 3D breast imaging system will play a vital role in helping women considering reconstructive surgery after mastectomy and this particular model is the first of its kind anywhere in the world.
Investing in specialist nursing
In addition to its Clinical Nurse Specialist Programme, Friends of the Cancer Centre also invested in the training and development of local nurses through its pilot Clinical Nurse Specialist Development Programme. The programme was recognised for its excellence at the 2015 Belfast Trust Chairman’s Awards (pictured).
A syrine driver is a small pump which releases a dose of painkiller at a constant rate. For many patients who suffer from a lot of pain, some undergoing end of life care, a driver will help them manage their pain as well as give comfort and peace. Friends of the Cancer Centre has purchased several new drivers for wards in the hospital in recent years, allowing staff to offer drivers to more patients.
With the increasing volume of patients coming through the Cancer Centre, staff noted that there was often a shortage of thermometers, leading to delays in monitoring patients. To meet this need, Friends of the Cancer Center has purchased a number of thermometers throughout the hospital, ensuring that staff have the equipment they need to meet demand.
Monitoring a patient's blood pressure and pulse is central to the work of nurses throughout the hospital, but recent years have seen a shortage in observation machines. Friends of the Cancer Centre has purchased new observation machines throughout the Cancer Centre that allow nurses to carry out this vital part of their work.
Ensuring that patients have access to new and up to date machines is a key priority for staff and in 2015 we funded the replacement of an ultrasound scanner which had been in service for a number of years. The new machine will improve image quality, reduce scanning times and increase capacity for oncology referrals.
New Bridgewater treatment room
Anyone who has been to the Bridgewater Suite will know that space can often be an issue for patients and staff, so we were approached to fund a new treatment room we were more than willing to help. The new room has more treatment chairs which has been able to increase patient capacity and reduce waiting times.
Investing in excellence
The Cancer Centre is home to some of the finest staff in the UK and supporting their training and development is key to ensuring our patients get the best care. In recent months we have funded staff attendance at study days, conferences, events and even purchased laptops for nurses to carry out their vital work.
Health and well being events
Offering patients access to information about their cancer and support on how to live with and deal with its side-effects of is really important to us and the staff in the Cancer Centre. That's why we fund several health and well being events designed for specific cancer types, including testicular cancer and lymphoma.