Elaine Chapman

Elaine Chapman
Macmillan lead cancer nurse
  • Chemotherapy
  • Haematology
  • Apheresis

I’ve been at Addenbrooke’s for about 12 years and did my general nursing training at the University of East Anglia. All of my previous experience in nursing and a few years spent handling the finances for my family’s business have meant that me career has been quite diverse.

Now, as the lead chemotherapy nurse, I work closely with lots of teams delivering anti-cancer treatments across oncology, haematology and aphaeresis, (blood separation and harvesting stem cells).

I also work with the Oncology Outpatient teams to develop strategies for the delivery of treatment to better suit our changing demographic and growing population, and work clinically giving chemotherapy in one of the chemotherapy day units.

Another key component of my role is the organisation of the Outreach Service, which takes our nurses out to GP surgeries to deliver chemotherapy closer to home. This is beneficial to many patients as it means that they don’t have to travel a long way to get their treatment. It also releases our hospital space for patients who need more nursing support during their treatment.

Chemotherapy drugs are often very powerful and so the nurses using them on a daily basis need to be very careful. It’s largely up to me to make sure they stay safe too.

I would say that my role is a varied and very busy one that gives me a fantastic opportunity to influence positive change for all of the patients we see. This is a very big department and it can be quite daunting coming here, which is why I’m so keen to give patients a voice and reassure them that they’re being listened to.

There’s a big difference between ‘OK’ cancer care and ‘great’ cancer care, and we’re always doing everything we can to deliver the latter.