Nurse improving care of people with rare cancer wins prestigious award 

15/07/2019 00:00 
A UCLH nurse who is leading research to improve the quality of life and potentially the diagnosis of patients with sarcoma has won a prestigious award.
 

Rachel Taylor, director of the Centre for Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health Profession Led Research (CNMR), won the Excellence in Cancer Research category of the RCNi Nurse Awards 2019. The profession’s top accolade for nursing excellence attracted almost 700 entries this year.

Rachel is the chief investigator and grant holder of the Sarcoma Assessment Measure (SAM) study to develop and validate a sarcoma-specific patient reported outcomes questionnaire that will improve communication between patients and their clinicians.

She established an interdisciplinary research team that reflects the diversity of healthcare professionals who care for patients with sarcoma, including nurses, psychologists, medical oncologists, a paediatrician and an orthopaedic surgeon. Patient representatives also contribute to the team as co-researchers.

SAM, funded by Sarcoma UK, was one of the biggest recruiting studies in sarcoma last year, thanks to the involvement of a sarcoma research nurse in protocol development. By mapping care pathways they identified time points and people who could approach patients.

Rachel said: "This award is so important. I am especially glad that a rare cancer like sarcoma will be highlighted as it gets very little publicity. And I won the award during Sarcoma Awareness Week.

"It is a rare cancer that is under-researched and under-resourced. Winning will raise the profile of this work and in turn increase its utility in clinical practice. It also enables me to raise the profile of the role nurses play in delivering care and research."

The award was sponsored by Cancer Research. Cancer Research UK-lead research nurse Anne Croudass added: "It is fantastic to see a nurse heading up this multi-disciplinary research project. Rachel is an excellent example of how research, and research nurses can make a real difference to the experience of cancer patients and their families."

Dr Taylor was nominated for this year’s awards by Julie Hogg, deputy chief nurse and Ms Taylor’s line manager. She said: "Rachel is one of a handful of nurses we have who contribute to the growth of research across the non-medical professions whilst managing their own research portfolio.

"She is a role model to our senior clinical lecturers and works a huge number of hours to deliver both parts of her role well."

RCNi managing director Rachel Armitage added: "Nurses in all areas are increasingly under pressure but they still deliver exceptional innovation and outstanding, compassionate patient care day in, day out. The RCNi Nurse Awards are a chance to recognise the achievements of nurses like Rachel and showcase nursing excellence."

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