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You Made a Difference - May 2024

A calm and confident clinical nurse specialist who made a huge difference to a patient’s breast cancer journey and a remarkable patient outcomes coordinator who has twice walked the circumference of the world for charity are our winners of the May You Made a Difference awards.

Jill_Barker - YMAD May 2024
Jill Barker, clinical nurse specialist

Jill joined the breast cancer nursing team in January 2023, having previously worked as a specialist nurse in the oncology team.

As a clinical nurse specialist supporting patients’ treatment for breast cancer, a typical day for Jill and her colleagues involves arranging and facilitating appointments and scans, attending consultations and acting as an advocate for patients. They ensure each patient leaves with a point of contact, support and advice and that they understand the information they're given.

Jill and her colleagues provide care to patients facing chemotherapy and surgery, ensure they feel supported at all times and work alongside the breast cancer consultants - particularly when breaking bad news to patients and their family/carers.

They offer nurse-led clinics, referrals to other specialist teams, personalised information about treatment options and help with the side effects of treatment such as wound support, reconstruction counselling and pain control. They also offer education events and self-management programmes.

Jill and her fellow breast cancer nurses are advancing their roles to be able to assess and examine patients who are referred by their GP with a breast symptom and to request investigation for a differential diagnosis. Importantly, this means that the service can continue to meet the Government two-week wait rule for suspected cancer.

Jill herself was diagnosed and treated for cancer. Using her skills and first-hand experience, Jill sees her own case load of patients who have been diagnosed with breast cancer through both the screening and symptomatic referral route.

Jill’s calm and confident manner puts patients at ease at difficult times. She is always willing to help, has a great sense of humour, demonstrates a kind presence and is a valuable member of our team.

Jill_Barker and colleagues YMAD May 2024
Jill Barker and colleagues

Jill’s nomination was submitted by a patient. After a delay with surgery, the patient recalled “I was feeling very low, tired and emotional, and it was an unexpected surprise to meet Jill Barker - one of the cancer nurse specialists from the Breast Unit - for the first time.

“She came over to the Addenbrooke’s Treatment Centre to see if I was alright and offer me support.

This act of kindness at the end of the day made a huge difference. Throughout my breast cancer journey, Jill has continued to check in on me to support my wellbeing. What a superstar! Thank you, Jill.

Richard_Butler_walking YMAD May 2024
Richard Butler, patient outcomes coordinator

Richard is our patient outcomes coordinator in the Safety and Quality Support (SQS) team. He is a long-serving member of staff who has been at Addenbrooke’s for more than 24 years!

Richard provides users with advice and guidance on clinical projects such as clinical audits and service evaluations, and he also supports the Trust’s safety checks of rhesus trollies.

Richard is kind natured, funny and helpful. He is always socialising and setting up amazing charitable efforts both inside and out of CUH.

For example, Richard has supported local walks at CUH with the therapy dogs over the years to help get staff outside for their mental health and even made fun events into fundraisers such as football score predications in aid of Cancer Research UK.

Richard donates both blood and plasma and is about to achieve an incredible milestone of 600 donations. Richard started these in 2003 and donates every couple of weeks; he has influenced many others to start donating.

This nomination is fantastic news. We’re very happy for Richard. He’s the most wonderful staff member!

Extracts from Richard’s nomination, submitted by a colleague, said:

Over the past 10 years or so, Richard has walked twice the circumference of the world - a total of 49,802 miles (80,150km) and he passed the ‘finish line’ on 17 April 2024.

Richard_Butler and colleagues YMAD May 2024
Richard Butler and colleagues

“Richard will retire from walking for charity after raising, with his team, an impressive £50,000 plus for charity.

“Richard has been an inspiration for all of us. He has organised lunchtime walks for staff and encourages us to do more for charity or our community. Keep walking, Richard.”

The Safety and Quality Support (SQS) team also received the following feedback about Richard in May 2024:

“I wanted to take a moment to extend my heartfelt gratitude for your incredibly fast response and the thorough explanation of the audit requirements. Your guidance and support have been immensely helpful.

“Having worked in three different Trusts across the UK, I must say that I have never encountered anyone who responds so promptly and provides such detailed assistance, especially concerning audits.

Your efficiency and dedication are truly remarkable, and I am profoundly grateful for your help.