Post-transplant specialist nurse introduced at the Freeman Hospital

The blood cancer charity Anthony Nolan has introduced its second ever post-transplant specialist nurse, who is based at the Northern Centre for Cancer Care, at the Newcastle Hospitals Freeman Hospital in Newcastle. This is the first post of its kind outside of London.

Susan Paskar has been employed in a post funded by the pioneering charity to support patients with leukaemia and other blood cancers who have had bone marrow or stem cell transplants.

She will be their dedicated point of contact at the hospital once they have been allowed to go home following their transplant and will be able to offer specialist support and advice.

She will also be able to refer them to other services, such as dieticians, and to help them overcome any physical and psychological difficulties they experience after their transplant.

Susan, who lives in Newcastle and has worked with bone marrow transplant patients at the Freeman Hospital for four years, said: “I was very happy to take up this position as I saw that there was a need for more follow up for patients – they get a lot of support early on but we need to be able to continue to support them after their transplants so they can have the best possible quality of life.

“I think the patients would tell you that this new role is a vital one. After their initial treatment comes to an end, patients will need long term monitoring and they are often left with a lot of problems  which may need further intervention, and many patients will need extra support to help them get used to the ‘new normal’.”

She added: “It is a very rewarding job as you maintain your relationships with patients for a long time. You get to know your patients, and their families, really well.”

 

Susan Paskar at the Northern Centre for Cancer Care (Credit: Tony Griffiths)

Anthony Nolan is introducing three specialist nurse positions as part of its focus on improving quality of life for people after a transplant.

The first nurse, Hayley Leonard, has already taken up a position at The Royal Marsden in London. Susan took up her role in Newcastle in December and a third nurse will be recruited to work at Manchester Royal Infirmary and The Christie, in Manchester.
 
Anthony Nolan has been saving lives for four decades, by matching selfless people willing to donate their bone marrow or stem cells to blood cancer patients in desperate need of a life-saving transplant. This is usually their last chance of survival.

However, the charity is also committed to trying to improve the lives of patients who have had a transplant.

“It’s not enough just to provide a life-saving match for people who need a transplant and say our job’s done – we also want to help them live their lives to the full afterwards,” said Chiara De Biase, Head of Patient Experience at Anthony Nolan. “Our new nurses will provide integrated care and support to bone marrow transplant recipients, helping them to enjoy a good quality of life after transplant.”

For more information about Anthony Nolan, go to www.anthonynolan.org .

15/01/2015

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For more information, please contact Emma Innes at Anthony Nolan on 0207 4246 636 or emma.innes@anthonynolan.org. For urgent out of hours media enquiries, call 0844 840 0103.

About Anthony Nolan

Anthony Nolan was the world’s first bone marrow register. The blood cancer charity has been saving lives for four decades by matching remarkable people willing to donate their bone marrow to patients in desperate need of a transplant.

We need more young men aged 16-30 to sign up, as they are most likely to be chosen to donate but make up just 15% of the register.

At Anthony Nolan we want someone who has a transplant to have the greatest possible chance of life. However, currently, only 60% of transplant recipients receive the best possible match, and this drops dramatically to 20.5% if you’re from a black, Asian or ethnic minority background. By building and diversifying our register we will be able to provide the best match to even more people with blood cancer.

About the Northern Centre for Cancer Care

•   The Northern Centre for Cancer Care is the largest specialist centre of its kind in the North of England seeing over 1300 patients from as far north as Berwick upon Tweed, across the Whitehaven and down into Durham every year.

•   The Award-winning, state of the art building has access to the very latest technology providing a level of care unparalleled anywhere else in the UK.

•   An integral part of our centre is the Sir Bobby Robson Cancer Trials Research Centre – a purpose-built facility which provides the ideal environment for the ground-breaking research carried out by our world-leading cancer specialists.


Key statistics

•   Someone is diagnosed with blood cancer every 20 minutes.
•   Around 2,000 people in the UK need a bone marrow (or stem cell) transplant from a stranger each year.  This is usually their last chance of survival.
•   You have a 25% to 30% chance of having the same tissue type as a sibling.
•   90% of donations take place via PBSC (peripheral blood stem cell collection).  This is an outpatient appointment and is similar to donating blood.
•   To join the register, you must be aged between 16 and 30, weigh more than 7st 12lbs (50kgs) and be in general good health. For more information about our work or to sign up online, please visit www.anthonynolan.org .