The first ever mesothelioma UK clinical nurse specialist in the North East Local has been funded by a local charity.
The appointment has been made through a partnership between the Mick Knighton Mesothelioma Research Fund and Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.
Leah Taylor will be in post for an initial two years and will offer support to patients diagnosed with mesothelioma in the North East, one of the parts of the UK worst affected by the cancer of the lung lining caused by exposure to asbestos.
“Having a mesothelioma nurse specialist for people affected by this terrible disease has the potential to significantly transform care”
Ms Taylor will treat patients in Northumberland and North Tyneside, as well as working with other regional teams to improve access to support groups, treatments and information.
As nurse lead for mesothelioma, she will also be responsible for ensuring mesothelioma issues are raised regionally.
There are currently only six mesothelioma clinical nurse specialists in the country.
Ms Taylor, mesothelioma clinical nurse specialist for the North East, said her appointment had the “potential to significantly transform the care people receive” in the region.
“For many people the prognosis is very poor however with the right support, care and access to information about new research and treatments, quality of life for people diagnosed with this disease and their families can be greatly improved,” she said.