Originally started as a Greater Manchester (GM) Cancer Alliance initiative the day is now supported by Health Education England, Macmillan Cancer Support, Royal College of Nursing and UKONS as well as all of the 21 cancer alliances.
Using the hashtag #NationalCancerCNSDay alliances and Trusts are encouraged to celebrate the role of the Cancer CNS and the people who are the main point of contact for patients while they wait for their diagnosis.
CNS’s are highly specialised, experienced nurses, who have undertaken additional study and practical training. Their duties may differ slightly depending on the type of cancer they deal with, but they all have an ability to develop strong relationships and build a sense of trust, honesty and openness with their patients so as to support them in the best possible way.
Melanie Zeiderman, Programme Director for Lancashire & South Cumbria Cancer Alliance said: “I was a Clinical Nurse Specialist for over 10 years, and it is a role that is close to my heart, so I am pleased we are recognising and celebrating the role today.
“Our CNS workforce in Lancashire and South Cumbria is dedicated and committed to supporting their patients in all they do. By coordinating patients’ healthcare journeys, treating diseases unique to their specialty, educating and mentoring their fellow nurses and applying their enhanced decision-making skills, they continually strive to provide the best care for their patients.”
Vicki Stevenson-Hornby, Pancreas Specialist Nurse (CNS) with Lancashire & South Cumbria Cancer Alliance and Royal Blackburn Teaching Hospital explains a bit about her role:
“I work closely with primary care colleagues who refer patients to us so we can provide support prior to diagnosis. We previously only saw patients once they were diagnosed, which meant they went through this worrying time – facing numerous tests – with little or no support. Now they have a Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) as their main point of contact to support them through to diagnosis and beyond.”
Nichola Ritchie, Colorectal Cancer and Stoma Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) Blackpool Teaching Hospital (ELHT) added: “A CNS guides the patient through their cancer journey. Helping them overcome obstacles with the support of the wider team. Patients will need many healthcare professionals along the way but the CNS is their constant and familiar guide throughout. Each patient’s journey is different but the CNS helps them to navigate it with compassion, knowledge and support.”
If you are celebrating National Cancer CNS Awareness Day on Tuesday 15 March please use the hashtag #NationalCancerCNSDay and don’t forget to tag @LSC_CA_Alliance