Salisbury District Hospital has been presented with a national award for its commitment to patients living with incurable blood cancer.
The haematology team at Salisbury District Hospital was presented with the Myeloma UK Clinical Service Excellence Programme (CSEP) Award yesterday (Tuesday 8th February 2022) in recognition of its outstanding care and unflagging dedication to patients with myeloma, an incurable blood cancer that claims the lives of 3,000 people in the UK each year.
Myeloma is especially hard to spot as its symptoms are often vague and dismissed as ageing or other minor conditions. By the time many patients are diagnosed their cancer has advanced and they require urgent treatment. This can significantly impact their chances of survival and quality of life.
The accolade, awarded by charity Myeloma UK, recognises hospitals’ commitment to raising the bar for treatment and providing compassionate and individualised care to patients.
Dr Tracey Parker, Consultant Haematologist and Clinical Lead for Myeloma & Stem Cell Transplant at Salisbury Foundation Trust said, “We have a great team here at Salisbury. We always endeavour to provide the best possible care, treatment and support to our patients. It is a real privilege to receive this national accreditation, which demonstrates the gold standard of myeloma care.
“The last two years have been challenging for both patients and healthcare professionals. Despite this, we have received much encouragement and positive feedback from our patients and are truly humbled by it. We are steadfastly resolved to continuous improvement and strive for excellence.
“As an example of our ongoing commitment, we have recently developed our service to include a dedicated consultant-led myeloma clinic which operates alongside the specialist nurse-led remote surveillance clinic. This provides clinical expertise and superior treatments to our patients, including access to cutting-edge national clinical trials.
“One of our prized assets is the charitably-funded mobile cancer care unit (MCCU), which allows a wide variety of anti-myeloma therapies to be delivered closer to home. Our dedicated MCCU team offer the same high-quality care and support as the main hospital site. A huge well done to everyone involved.”
The Myeloma UK CSEP programme assesses a range of criteria including testing and diagnosis, research and clinical trials, end of life care, information and support, patient experience, treatment and supportive care, multidisciplinary team working and awareness, education and referral.
Salisbury District Hospital’s haematology department was praised by Myeloma UK for its commitment to patients, rural outreach and continued efforts to make clinical trials accessible to as many as possible.
Monica Morris, Clinical Practice Services Senior Projects Officer at Myeloma UK, commented, “Myeloma is a complex cancer which can be challenging to manage so we were extremely impressed by the team’s willingness and ability to adapt and offer bespoke care, especially to those living further afield.
“The Mobile Cancer Care Unit, in particular, allows patients in rural areas to receive high-quality care without lengthy and exhausting trips to the hospital. Under the leadership of Dr Cullis, the team has also taken advantage of its strong links with University Hospital Southampton to ensure patients have the opportunity to take part in clinical trials.”
Felicity Edwards, from the Woodfords, has been treated at the hospital since 2019.
“I can’t emphasise enough how well I’ve been treated since I’ve been under their care,” said Felicity, who was diagnosed with myeloma at the age of 63 back in 2013.
“From the bottom to the top, they’re absolutely brilliant and there’s nothing I would be afraid to go in and ask. You’re not just a number when you go through that hospital door, you have a name. They’re always so pleased to see you. They could be rushed off their feet but they always have time for their patients. If I had an award I could give them myself, I would do it.”