Hospital staff sign pledge to improve breast cancer care in Leeds

Breast care nursing team leader Belinda Archer talks at the Secondary Breast Cancer Pledge event at Leeds St James's Hospital.
Breast care nursing team leader Belinda Archer talks at the Secondary Breast Cancer Pledge event at Leeds St James's Hospital.
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Health care workers in Leeds are pledging to do more to support patients with incurable secondary breast cancer.

Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust (LTH) staff, working with Macmillan Cancer Support, Breast Cancer Care and Breakthrough Breast Cancer, have committed to improving care and support for people by signing the ‘Secondary Breast Cancer Pledge’.

Patient feedback showed support for those living with the disease was falling short of what they needed and this impacted on their patient experience.

As a result the service at Leeds St James’s Hospital’s Leeds Breast Unit has been redesigned and been given Macmillan Cancer Support funding to employ a dedicated specialist nurse to develop the service tailored to the needs of patients.

As part of the signing of the pledge, patients and members of the public were invited to Leeds St James’s Bexley Wing Atrium to learn more about the commitments today.

Nina Morton-Brook, 53, from Roundhay, a secondary breast cancer patient who was diagnosed three years ago, was at the event. She said: “Thank you to the breast team for looking after us so well and thank you for listening to us so that you can look after us better.”

A named key worker is now being assigned to each patient newly diagnosed with secondary breast cancer so they have a single point of contact at the hospital thanks to the project.

In Leeds, around 650 people are diagnosed with breast cancer every year – around 30 to 40 per cent of those will later develop secondary breast cancer, which has spread from the breast to another area.

Nik Thoren, service development manager at Breast Cancer Care said: “It’s wonderful that the needs of patients have been central to informing this pioneering project.”

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