Posted: Sat 12th Nov 2022

North Wales cancer team scoops Macmillan award for tackling fatigue in cancer patients

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Saturday, Nov 12th, 2022

A north Wales cancer team has been honoured with a Macmillan award for helping patients cope with the chronic fatigue that so many people with cancer will experience.

Jackie Pottle is a Macmillan Cancer Allied Health Professional Therapy Lead based in Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board.

Alongside Consultant Clinical Psychologist Lisa Heaton-Brown, Jackie helped spearhead the development of a new service designed to raise awareness and improve support for cancer patients suffering with fatigue.

Jackie was presented with Macmillan’s prestigious Innovation Excellence Award, which recognises cancer professionals who have worked tirelessly to introduce a new approach to cancer care.

It is an award that recognises how the tireless work of cancer professionals continually helps to improve outcomes and experiences for people living with cancer.

The award follows a detailed evaluation in 2019, which highlighted that while cancer-related fatigue was the most prevalent symptom experienced by cancer patients, no specific support services existed to address it in north Wales.

As a result, the Clinical Psychology and Occupational Therapy services at Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board teamed up to develop an innovative new support and training programme.

This included providing professionals working across north Wales with the latest information and best practice in supporting people with cancer-related fatigue, a rolling programme of virtual education sessions for health professionals, as well as the development of interactive video-group clinics designed to help patients self-manage their fatigue.

Speaking on behalf of the wider team, Jackie said: “I am very honoured to receive this award, not just for myself but also on behalf of my colleagues for their tireless work in setting up this new service together.

“Feedback from cancer patients who have benefited from the initiative is that they feel the new programme validates their own experiences – it acknowledges that fatigue is a very real and physically debilitating issue.

“The outcome was that individual cancer patients felt they received direct, personalised support and developed coping strategies to help them to manage their fatigue in the future. The use of innovative, virtual peer support was vital in providing the support they so desperately needed.”

Richard Pugh, Head of Partnerships for Macmillan Cancer Support in Wales said: “We couldn’t be more proud of Jackie and the wider team for what they have achieved.

“Cancer can affect every part of a person’s life and what Jackie’s work has done is not only to drill down into the very real issues facing cancer patients, but to develop a highly personalised level of support for people with cancer facing those issues in north Wales.

“The Macmillan Excellence Awards are an annual opportunity to show our appreciation for Macmillan professionals, who work tirelessly day in day out to make a real difference for people with cancer.

“The awards also highlight the vital partnership work that exists between Macmillan and partners like Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, where every Macmillan role is almost exclusively funded thanks to the public’s generosity.

“This year that work has been more vital than ever before, due to the pressures that the coronavirus pandemic continues to place on front-line cancer services.

“We have to offer a huge thanks to Jackie and everyone involved in this pioneering new project for making such a determined effort to improve care cancer care even within such a challenging environment.”

Macmillan’s prestigious and independent awards highlight excellence right across the UK and the impact of Macmillan professionals and teams who have done whatever it takes to support people living with cancer.

The awards allow Macmillan to celebrate our professionals’ unique spirit by showcasing not just what Macmillan professionals do, but how they do it.

For support, information or a chat, call Macmillan Cancer Support free on 0808 808 00 00 (Monday to Friday, 9am–8pm) or visit macmillan.org.uk.

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