Cancer teams honoured for work helping local people

The Macmillan Specialist Palliative Care Team based at Antrim Area Hospital and the Northern Trust Skin Cancer Team who go above and beyond for people living with cancer have been honoured with Macmillan awards.

Both teams were awarded the Whatever It Takes Award which recognises extraordinary efforts, where individuals and teams have had to adapt, innovate, collaborate, support wellbeing initiatives, shown great resilience despite distressing situations and lead with compassion.

Their colleagues in the Northern Trust, the Cancer and Palliative Wellbeing Team, were also named as finalists in the Integration Excellence category.

This category recognises individuals and teams who have improved the coordination of services and enabled integration across settings or through digital services to provide a seamless experience for people living with cancer.

Macmillan Professionals Conference 2021. Keynotes. Winners on stage with Richard Blackwood. One free editorial reproduction only within context of accompanying press release.

The team’s programmes included Look Good Feel Better (LGFB) pamper sessions, Fatigue Management workshops and Health & Wellbeing events (H&WB) which were all adapted to virtual resources due to Covid-19, therefore empowering patients to access support services virtually to overcome any challenges they may face.

The annual awards recognise the incredible work of Macmillan professionals across the UK and the Northern Trust teams, who were the only Trust in NI to have three finalists in the awards, were nominated by colleagues for their dedication to supporting people living with cancer in the local area.

From the outset of the pandemic, the Macmillan Specialist Palliative Care Team in the Northern Trust have shown compassion, leadership and remarkable resilience whilst striving to improve end-of-life services for patients and their families.

The team worked hard to ensure patient care was never compromised, with staff developing creative ways to provide comfort and reassurance to patients and families who struggled with restricted visiting. Staff changing rooms were quickly transformed into meeting areas for patients with young children, and a gazebo was erected to facilitate socially distanced visits outside.

“The team were remarkable,” says Macmillan Service Lead for Palliative Care, Sally Convery. “At a time of great uncertainty, they ensured patients were at the heart of everything they did by skilfully identifying their needs and the needs of those important to them.”

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