Mum's praise for Leeds Children's Hospital after cancer unit awarded world first accolade

The mum of a 10-year-old boy fighting leukaemia has praised the  "amazing" staff at Leeds Children's Hospital after its cancer unit was handed a world first accolade.

By Mark Lavery
Sunday, 5th December 2021, 5:20 pm

Hasan Rahmani was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in 2016 and continues to receive treatment at Leeds Children’s Hospital.

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In July Hasan spent four weeks in hospital suffering from long Covid and received expert physiotherapy care after he became breathless and suffering numerous coughing fits

Hasan Rahmani

His mum Nisha said: "I could go on forever about the care received from Leeds Children’s Hospital as everyone is amazing."

"It’s like being part of a big family. Hasan has said It’s like being on holiday on ward 31. I think this just summarises everything."

Nisha spoke after The Paediatric Haematology and Oncology Service at Leeds Children’s Hospital was designated as a ‘centre of excellence in supportive care’ by the Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer (MASCC).

Leeds Children’s Hospital is the first Children’s Hospital in the world to be awarded this status.

Consultant oncologist Dr Bob Phillips with the certificate

It now joins other leading services around the globe to receive this designation including the Gustave Roussy Institute in Paris, the Institut Jules Bordet in Brussels and the Levine Cancer Institute, USA.

MASCC is an international multidisciplinary organisation dedicated to research and education in all aspects of supportive care for people with cancer.

The certification program aims to promote and recognise oncology centres around the world that demonstrate best practices in supportive cancer care, by successfully integrating oncology and supportive care, upholding high standards, and maintaining comprehensive supportive care services

Consultant oncologist Dr Bob Phillips (centre) with members of his team at Leeds Children's Hospital

Leeds Children’s Hospital is the largest children’s cancer centre in the north east of England, treating patients from across Yorkshire and further afield.

The service at Leeds Children’s Hospital has been at the forefront of practice and international research in supportive care.

Local children’s cancer charity Candlelighters funded the research, which was led by Dr Bob Phillips and Dr Jess Morgan.

Consultant oncologist Dr Bob Phillips said: "We work very hard to promote a family-centred, personalised and integrated approach to childhood cancer care.

"We already know survival rates in Yorkshire for children with cancer are among the best in the world.

"This new recognition from MASCC shows that at Leeds we are not solely focussed on the treatment – we’re also making the process of living with and beyond cancer the best it can be with our team providing all aspects of research and care in one centre.

"We hope that through our ‘centre of excellence’ status we will attract even more people to collaborate in research with us and join us in practice, leading to even greater developments in patient care

Dr Colin Holton - clinical director at Leeds Children’s Hospital, said: "On behalf of Leeds Children’s Hospital, we’re so very proud to be the first designated Children’s Hospital worldwide to achieve this status.

"It highlights how collaboratively the different specialities within our Haematology and Oncology team work to deliver the best outcomes for patients. This is a further example of excellence in clinical care at Leeds as we move towards the next exciting phase of building a new Children’s hospital over the next few years."

The Paediatric Haematology and Oncology Service is supported by local children’s cancer charity Candlelighters in a number. of ways and this extra support has played a significant role in the MASCC designation.

Candlelighters’ support includes funding additional roles such as play leaders, social workers, a speech therapist, family support workers and a dinner lady role.

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