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Nursing Times Awards Finalist - 'Cancer Nursing'


A cancer nurse specialist at Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital has been shortlisted for the Nursing Times Award in ‘Cancer Nursing’

Laura Noble – a nurse specialising in bladder cancer – has been shortlisted for a prestigious nursing award in recognition of her innovative approach towards training colleagues in the delivery of an important form of post-operative chemotherapy.

Laura set up a dedicated study day for staff looking after patients following surgery to remove bladder tumours, training them on the administration of Mitomycin.

The operation involved is called transurethral resection of a bladder tumour (TURBT) which is carried out to remove potentially cancerous growths from the bladder.

During this procedure some of the cells can become separated from the tumour. The role of the Mitomycin chemotherapy is to ‘mop up’ these cells to prevent them from spreading elsewhere in the bladder.

The chemotherapy needs to be given, directly into the bladder, within 24 hours of the surgery. Meeting this need can be challenging - the main driver of Laura’s initiative was to ensure this timescale could be met by ensuring adequate numbers of trained staff.

The new study day is a complete refresh of the previous training package which was historically led by the oncology department, twice a year and involved two full days of theory focused predominantly around systemic chemotherapy (either IV or by mouth), with a one hour session on intravesical treatment (directly into the bladder).

The new approach devised by Laura involves a one day programme, every three months, focussing on intravesical chemotherapy.

“Overall the project was developed to improve patient’s treatment and pathways, ensuring a timely delivery and has subsequently improved the nurses’ knowledge of non-muscle invasive bladder cancer,” said Laura. “It has encouraged them to think of the patient as a whole, and not just a procedure which is a fantastic result.”

Laura added: “At a European School of Urology Nurses congress during a group work session this project won the ‘Best Plan’ Award. During a conversation to highlight this to Alison East, Nurse Consultant, I was encouraged to submit a Nursing Times application.

“Having a colleague suggest that the project would be a good application for a Nursing Times Award was fantastic and so encouraging, however to be shortlisted was such an amazing feeling. I felt so proud of what I had achieved and to know that this had been recognised outside of the trust was unbelievable and overwhelming.”

Maurya Cushlow, Executive Chief Nurse for the Newcastle Hospitals said: “This is fantastic news. Being announced as a finalist for the Nursing Times Awards is great recognition for the work our nurses do every day, making a difference to patients.

“Both our finalists this year are great examples of innovation and nursing leadership in practice.”

The Nursing Times Awards Ceremony will take place on Wednesday 31 October 2018.

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