Two colorectal clinical nurse specialists have won national charity awards for their work with bowel cancer patients.
Paula Brayford, who works for the Shrewsbury and Telford Teaching Hospital NHS Trust, and Sarah Thompson, from the Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, received their award from Beating Bowel Cancer.
“This award is very special because you are nominated by a patient and voted for by your peers”
The Gary Logue Colorectal Nurse Awards were established by the charity in memory of one of the charity’s specialist nurse advisors, who died last year.
The aim is to recognise nurses who make a big difference to the lives of their bowel cancer patients, said the charity.
It highlighted that, according to the annual cancer patient experience survey, the support of a clinical nurse specialist is the most important contributing factor to a positive experience of care.
Ms Brayford and Ms Thompson were presented with their awards at the National Colorectal Cancer Nurse Network Conference on 21 September. It included a £500 bursary for continuing professional development.
Ms Brayford said: “This award is very special because you are nominated by a patient and voted for by your peers. I feel very humbled and honoured to receive it and extremely touched that one of my patients took the time to nominate me.”
Ms Thompson added: “It makes it extra special that the award is in memory of Gary Logue, who I knew and who was such a great nurse.”
Mark Flannagan, chief executive of Beating Bowel Cancer, said the awards were “richly deserved”.
“The dedication to their patients is incredible,” he said. “They’re a true inspiration for all those who work with cancer patients.”
Paula was nominated for her award by cancer patient, Les McCrory, from Shrewsbury. He said: “She reassured and supported me throughout my surgery and has continued to do so during my recovery.
“Her constant reassurance that things would get better became highlights of long hospitalised days. In short, her care was wonderful. I cannot praise her highly enough.”
Bowel cancer patient Garth Taylor, from Lee in Lewisham, nominated Sarah. He said: “I already suffered from Parkinson’s disease when I was diagnosed with bowel cancer 2011, which had spread to my lungs and liver.
“Sarah was with me when I was told that the main tumour was inoperable and she convinced me that there was still hope. I eventually responded well to chemo and went on to have a colectomy. As a result, I am currently free of cancer.
“Sarah has been brilliant throughout. She has briefed me at every stage of my treatment, helping me to face the future and make sense of good news and bad.”