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The outstanding work of the Macmillan Berkshire Well-Being Team, based at Wexham Park Hospital, was recognised at the Nursing Times Awards last Thursday, 12 November, when they won the Cancer Nursing Award at a special ceremony at the Grosvenor Hotel, London where the nursing and healthcare profession came together for a night of recognition and celebration of achievements.

The team run the Macmillan Berkshire Well-Being Programme, a step-by-step approach to living with and beyond cancer, preparing people affected by cancer with a range of tools and opportunities that can enhance their recovery and improve their ability to ‘tackle tomorrow’.  The programme includes physical activity, health and well-being programmes, psychological support, social support and carers and is a partnership with health trusts, local authorities, Relate and others. 

Macmillan was proud to sponsor the Award, which recognises those that have contributed a significant improvement in the quality of cancer care. The event’s host Jenny Middleton (Editor, Nursing Times) and Macmillan representative David Seychell presented the award to Bep Dhaliwal, patient champion for the service, who was delighted to accept the award on behalf of the team and patients. 

Shelagh Thompson, programme leader, said: “Patients often feel isolated and abandoned at the completion of their treatment and the programme was established to provide the additional support needed to help encourage and empower cancer patients to self-manage their illness following their initial treatment stage.

“The feedback from patients has been overwhelming, with comments such as ‘I feel I have the tools to move on’, ‘it’s given me confidence, the boost to actually get back to normal life a little bit more’, ‘I still have concerns but I now know how to manage them’, demonstrating the breadth of impact the programme has had.”

Shelagh continued: “The judges said that our programme showed measurable positive outcomes and is transferable across cancer rehabilitation and long term care. The judges were also impressed with our presentation, saying it was powerful and that the team’s passion shone through.”

Jenni Middleton, editor, Nursing Times, said: “The nurses who have won this year – and those who are finalists – are smart, innovative and making real changes to the way that patients are cared for. Nursing care is no longer about bedpans and bandages – nurses contribute much more than that and influence every aspect of care and we need to make sure that the public, the media and the policymakers understand that. Well done to all of our finalists and winners, they have much to be proud of as they have truly made a difference to patients, residents, service users and those who love them. It is a fantastic achievement.”