Rachel Thomas has been appointed as a mesothelioma clinical nurse specialist at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust in London, a charity has announced.
Ms Thomas will be responsible for supporting mesothelioma patients undergoing treatment and run the local support group.
“There is a clear requirement for a dedicated mesothelioma specialist nurse”
She will also support the national mesothelioma clinical helpline, advise on clinical trials, provide palliative and end of life care and support, and support thoracic case nurse managers.
There is a growing number of mesothelioma patients in the London area and the UK has the highest incidences of mesothelioma in the world, noted the charity Mesothelioma UK.
This new post, which is being funded by Mesothelioma UK, will be the 15th addition to the charity’s specialist nurse team across the UK.
Ms Thomas has worked at Guy’s and St Thomas’ for eight years where she has split her role between both lung cancer patients and mesothelioma patients.
She has also previously been an HIV nurse at St Thomas’ and Barts Hospitals, worked in oncology and in a hospice.
She noted that the trust, as the largest cancer centre in London, was “sadly experiencing a rise in enquiries from mesothelioma patients and their families”, as well as receiving more referrals from hospitals further afield.
New mesothelioma specialist nurse based at London hospital
“There is a clear requirement for a dedicated mesothelioma specialist nurse and I’m looking forward to supporting the patients based at Guy’s and St Thomas’,” said Ms Thomas.
“Through my previous work, I have a thorough understanding of the patient pathway and hope to bring my experience and expertise to this new role as a dedicated mesothelioma clinical nurse specialist,” she said.
She added: “I’ve established a good relationship with the team at Mesothelioma UK and see this position as the next natural step.”
Liz Darlison, Mesothelioma UK director of services and consultant nurse at University Hospitals Leicester NHS Trust, said: “We have an amazing team of clinical nurse Specialists across England, Scotland and Wales.
“[We] are committed to growing this team even further to manage the increasing incidences of this deadly disease in the UK,” she added.
“Rachel’s appointment will give us a centralised contact for patients in London and beyond,” said Ms Darlison.