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Charity-funded specialist nurse joins Devon cancer team

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A new specialist breast care nurse has joined the breast care nursing team at Derriford Hospital in Plymouth thanks to the local breast care charity.

Rachel Wood, officially took up her new role as “Primrose nurse” on the 1 April. Ms Wood, who has previously held other specialist roles at Derriford, will be supporting patients who have had breast cancer surgery and need to have follow on treatment, including chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

“We can offer the dedicated and consistent support women and men might need”

Rachel Wood

The new position is a partnership between Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust and local charity the Primrose Foundation, which have agreed to fund the specialist role initially for the next two years.

The foundation normally raises funds for facilities and services provided in the Primrose Breast Care Centre at Derriford Hospital, rather than funding workforce posts.

Foundation chair Sue Hobbs said: “This is a new departure for the charity and one which we are very proud to be making.”

Ms Wood said: “I am really excited to be taking on this new role of Primrose nurse and would like to thank the charity for this opportunity to expand the support offered to patients by the breast care nursing team.

“One of our key roles as breast care specialist nurses is to support women and men from their diagnosis right through to their final treatment,” she said. “However, as can be found in other areas of the country, there can be gaps in this support, particularly when patients move on from their surgical procedure to needing oncology treatment.”

She added: “While care is provided to our patients by the fantastic nursing and consultant teams who work within our oncology department, we do recognise that as breast care nurse specialists we can offer the dedicated and consistent support women and men might need throughout their entire treatment pathway.”

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