BY TOBY PORTER
A Guy’s Hospital cancer care team has been recognised for its inspirational work supporting people living with the disease in London.
Awards host, BBC TV’s Victoria Derbyshire, presented the Macmillan Geriatric Oncology Liaison Development (GOLD) Team, from Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, with the award at the prestigious 2018 Macmillan Excellence Awards, held at The Birmingham Hilton Metropole Hotel on Thursday, November 8.
The Macmillan GOLD Team won the Innovation Excellence Award, after demonstrating a vision and commitment that has made a lasting difference to older people living with cancer.
The Macmillan GOLD Team’s award-winning work has seen the average stay for older cancer patients on Guy’s oncology wards fall by four-and-a-half days.
It has also led to more GOLD patients completing their chemotherapy courses.
The programme combines care for the elderly with oncology services – optimising older patients’ health before and during treatment.
Thanks to funding from Macmillan, the GOLD team can support the higher level of complex needs that elderly people with cancer often face, which in turn can prevent them from finishing treatment.
Stephanie Hall, Macmillan Partnership Manager for South-east London said of the team’s well-deserved win: “The awards, which are now in their seventh year, are a perfect opportunity for us to recognise and thank pioneering teams and individuals who deliver the highest standards of care for people living with cancer.
“The GOLD Team are very worthy winners and everyone at Macmillan Cancer Support thanks them for their on-going commitment and award-winning work.”
Sarah Compton, Macmillan Advanced Nurse Practitioner, explained how the GOLD Team works: “Patients can identify any worries they have and talk about their past medical history, the drugs they are taking, how they are managing at home and what support they have.
From blood pressure or incontinence to social isolation, we can help. The service can have a real impact on their health concerns.
“For older people, cancer often comes on top of lots of other difficulties they have,” adds Dr Eleni Karapanagiotou, Consultant Oncologist.
“They feel more comfortable undergoing complex treatments if the other issues have been sorted out beforehand.
The GOLD service is a big plus for oncologists too, because it means we have some help.”
Last year more than 300 Macmillan professionals as well as representatives from Macmillan and leading healthcare institutions attended the awards ceremony.
For support, information or if you have any questions, call Macmillan Cancer Support free on 0808 808 00 00 (Monday to Friday, 9am–8pm) or visit macmillan.org.uk.