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News Report Page 9 of 25
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North West Nurse reflects on life as a cancer Nurse 2 years on from the Pandemic

AHEAD of International Nurses Day, on 12 May 2022, a cancer Nurse at Rutherford Cancer Centre North West shares an insight into the realities of working in cancer care 2 years on from the Pandemic. Stephanie Cleaver, is a Lead SACT (Systemic Anti Cancer Therapy) Nurse at Rutherford Cancer Centre North West, a UK wide network of specialist centres treating private and NHS patients; which is located in Liverpool. Since Covid, Rutherford has seen a 200% increase in patients receiving SACT (systemic anti cancer therapy which describes all types of drugs used in chemotherapy treatment) across its centres. According to Cleaver, who is 34 years old and lives in Liverpool, the past 2 years has brought challenges for all Nurses, but behind the scenes she and her team have been continuing to treat vulnerable patients amid the wider strain on the UK's health services. To mark International Nurses Day, she reflects on how far the centre and her team have come in spite of the major challenges that face the UK's health care system, and the Pandemic's particular impact on cancer services. Cleaver said:- "I have been a Nurse since 2009 and specifically worked within oncology for over 10 years. Growing up I always wanted to be a Nurse so when I left School at 16 years old I went straight to do my nursing training at Universityand qualified when I was 21 years old."

Cleaver has been personally affected by cancer, with her father passing away in [year] after being diagnosed with bowel cancer, and in the past month, following a suspicious mammogram, her mum has been diagnosed with breast cancer. "It is hard to deal with but, if anything, it has made me want to stay in cancer nursing and it motivates me to be the best Nurse I can be for my patients, and my team. Oncology Nurses are responsible for providing holistic care for both patients and families, and this care goes way beyond medical need. We prepare patients for treatment, review bloodwork, handle the pre-assessment process and deliver treatment, but we also provide extensive emotional support for patients and their families. We often find that the relatives are more tense than the patient themselves, so we work closely with them to ensure that collectively we are able to provide the best support network to the patient. I don't think about nursing as a job. Caring for cancer patients is different than any other area of nursing and I couldn't imagine doing anything else. Each patient has unique requirements and will cope with their diagnosis and treatment differently, and we need to be able to deal with every type of patient. As a cancer Nurse you need to be compassionate and you need to provide a lot of support; every patient is going through their own personal journey and it is our job to ensure we make it as comfortable as possible for them. The most rewarding part is getting to see a patient ring the bell after treatment is complete. As challenging as oncology nursing can be, there are moments of triumph that oncology Nurses are privileged to experience alongside patients. Typically, my days involve managing the SACT team, supporting them in delivering treatments, and liaising with consultants on patient cases. As we are a private centre (which also treats NHS patients) we are able to spend more time with each patient which can make such a difference to someone who is undergoing treatment. We also offer a 24 hour support helpline for patients, so they can speak to someone whenever they need. During the height of the Pandemic, patients weren't able to bring a friend or family member to their appointments. As a Nurse your intuition is to comfort your patient, and working in these conditions where we couldn't provide any physical support that they'd normally have from a loved 1 made it unbelievably tough. Sadly, due to the Pandemic we are seeing more late stage cancers being diagnosed, often because people weren't able to access diagnostic services. Now patients are suffering from late diagnosis. When it comes to cancer, the earlier the diagnosis the better the cure, but prevention is the ideal. I want patients in the North West to know that there is a massive support network here for them. If you suspect something, give yourself the best possible chance and know that you will have the support from us every step of the way. We have a very robust system to check patients in, and we have strict protocols in place to ensure we can keep our centre a Covid safe environment for patients and staff. We have amazing facilities and really experienced staff, and if you are an NHS patient it can be possible to be treated at our centre too."

Rutherford's independent network currently consists of 4 cancer treatment centres across the UK and draws patients from across the world. The centres offer high energy proton beam therapy and conventional therapies such as chemotherapy, immunotherapy and radiotherapy, with state-of-the-art diagnostics including MRI and CT. Across the 4 Rutherford Cancer Centres, there's an expert team of oncology Nurses, each 1 playing a vital role in the cancer treatment process and the overall patient experience. The global celebration of nursing is held annually, on 12 May 2022, the Anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale. The theme for this year was:- 'A Voice To Lead - invest in nursing and respect rights to secure global healt.'

Alcedo Care named 1 of UK's top 20 home care groups

SOUTHPORT based Alcedo Care has been recognised as 1 of the Top 20 home care groups in the UK for the 3rd year running. With 678 home care groups in the UK, it is a superb achievement for Alcedo Care to win such a coveted award, which is based solely on reviews from the people they care for, plus their family and friends.

The team at Alcedo's Southport and Liverpool offices also won awards for being 1 of the Top 20 home care providers in the North West of England, of which there are 1,053.

With nearly a million disabled and older people receiving care at home so that they can continue to live independently in their own homes, the range of services provided by Alcedo Care are very much in demand.

The awards cherry picks the very best home care groups and providers in the UK, with Alcedo clients encouraged to rate all aspects of the services they receive, including quality of care, compassion and value for money. All reviews are subsequently verified independently by the team before publication.

Amanda Hopkins, Reviews Manager, says:- "People are living longer with multiple health conditions and so home care providers which offer tailored care to people living in their own homes are hugely important in today's society. Alcedo Care has proved that it continually provides a high standard of care and we'd like to congratulate them on being a top home care group, as well as the Southport and Liverpool offices on being 2 of the best home care providers in the North West."

Andy Boardman, managing Director at Alcedo Care, adds:- "We are thrilled to have been named, for the 3rd consecutive year, as 1 of the UK's Top 20 home care groups. It's a great achievement for the company and all our employees. We genuinely care for our clients' health and wellbeing and are committed to providing an outstanding service. Our ultimate aim is to enrich the lives of our clients, ensuring they continue to live life to the full in the comfort of their own homes. It is also wonderful news that our teams in Southport and Liverpool have also been recognised for their exceptional service to clients. We are incredibly proud of them."

Established in 2017, Alcedo Care offers Domiciliary Care Services, Live in Care, Nurse Led Complex Care Services, Supported Living and Children's Services and has fast gained an enviable reputation as the home care provider of choice in the North West thanks to its superb 700-strong team of highly skilled and compassionate carers who make a tangible difference to the quality of life of the company's home care clients.

Run by passionate husband and wife team, Andy and Jo Boardman, and with the support of their fantastic management team, the company is expanding at pace and aims to double in size over the next 12 months with the recruitment of more than 1,000 new carers. For more information on the home care services provided by Alcedo Care, or to enquire about a fulfilling and rewarding new career in care, please visit:-

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