RM Magazine, Winter 2014

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Life demands excellence

magazine – winter 2014

In good care Meet the dedicated nurses who provide vital support to The Royal Marsden’s patients throughout their treatment

At The Royal Marsden, we deal with cancer every day, so we understand how valuable life is. And when people entrust their lives to us, they have the right to demand the very best. That’s why the pursuit of excellence lies at the heart of everything we do.


Executive notes



04 Hospital news 25 Fundraising 28 Foundation news 30 Puzzles & prizes

Welcome to the winter 2014 edition of RM, the magazine for our staff, patients, carers and Foundation Trust members. In this issue, we focus on the work being done by our nursing staff across the whole Trust (page 12). Nurses – on the wards, in research and in surgery – contribute immensely to the worldleading care and treatment that patients at The Royal Marsden receive, and continued training ensures they are at the forefront of advances and opportunities in cancer care. We look at the varied roles of our nursing staff, in particular in critical care and surgery. We also look at patient and public involvement in research (page 22). Hearing the views of people involved in our research is critical to maximising the success of this work. As the only NIHR Biomedical Research Centre dedicated solely to cancer in the UK, we believe patient and public involvement is vital in the design of trials and provision of information to patients. Finally, we celebrate the work of three award-winning breast cancer clinicians. Professor Mitch Dowsett, Head of the Centre for Molecular Pathology, is the latest winner of the Brinker Award for Scientific Distinction in Clinical Research (page 4). He follows in the footsteps of Professor Ian Smith, Head of our Breast Unit, and Professor Trevor Powles, who headed the unit prior to his retirement. Together, these three professors are the only cancer specialists in the UK to receive this prestigious award, and demonstrate the exceptional talent we have at The Royal Marsden. I hope you enjoy reading this issue of RM.

Cover photograph: Hannah Tutcher, Senior Staff Nurse, attends to a patient in the Critical Care Unit

Cally Palmer CBE, Chief Executive, The Royal Marsden

12 On the frontline of cancer care

Our nurses play a pivotal role in the treatment and care of our patients

18 Joining the dots

Why clinical studies are vital in the development of personalised medicine

20 A day in the life

Meet Shirley Clifton, Clinical Trials Operational Manager in Pharmacy

22 In the public domain The importance of public and patient involvement in The Royal Marsden’s trials




A history of success

In 2009, Professor Ian Smith, Consultant Medical Oncologist and Head of the Breast Unit, was recognised with the Brinker Award for his work in the early clinical development of several anti-cancer drugs and in neoadjuvant – or preoperative – treatments. This included drugs that fight hormone-sensitive breast cancers such as letrozole, which was largely developed at The Royal Marsden by Professor Smith and Professor Mitch Dowsett. Professor Smith said: “The outlook for breast cancer is improving all the time. For many years, the Breast Unit at The Royal Marsden has pioneered life-changing research so that new and better treatments are available for women with breast cancer. For three of its members to have received the Brinker Award is unique.” In 2005, Professor Trevor Powles, a Consultant Medical Oncologist and formerly the Head of the Breast Unit, was the first Royal Marsden specialist to receive the Brinker Award. He was recognised as one of the first specialist breast medical oncologists in the world and his primary research focused on breast cancer prevention and early treatment, including prevention of bone metastases. He said: “It is an extraordinary achievement that The Royal Marsden Breast Unit has won three Brinker Awards – only two other researchers in Europe have won this award.” 04  RM MAGAZINE

From left: Professors Mitch Dowsett, Trevor Powles and Ian Smith

BREAST UNIT SCORES AWARD HAT TRICK leading breast cancer researcher has become the third Royal Marsden recipient of a prestigious award for clinical research. Professor Mitch Dowsett, Head of the Academic Department of Biochemistry and Head of the Centre for Molecular Pathology, follows in the footsteps of his colleague Professor Ian Smith, Head of the Breast Unit, and Professor Trevor Powles, who previously headed the unit, by winning the


Brinker Award for Scientific Distinction in Clinical Research. These three pioneering Royal Marsden professors, who have all changed the face of breast cancer medicine, are the only cancer specialists in the UK to receive this award. Professor Dowsett was recognised for his contributions in understanding the hormonal basis of oestrogen-receptor (ER) positive breast cancer, and translating this knowledge to the clinic in order to improve

the efficacy of treatment and prevention of the disease. His translational approach to studying the endocrine aspects of breast cancer and biomarkers for prognosis and treatment has led to the implementation of key treatments and the identification of tumour markers that have advanced breast cancer care. Professor Dowsett will now deliver a keynote lecture on 10 December at the 37th annual San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, a major gathering of specialists from around the world. He said: “I’m delighted and honoured to receive the prestigious Brinker Award and to be part of a unit that is leading the way in breast cancer medicine.” Professor Martin Gore, Medical Director at The Royal Marsden, said: “The Brinker Award is one of the most important honours a breast cancer researcher can aspire to. I do not believe any other institution can boast three Brinker awardees. It is tangible evidence that our Breast Unit was, is and – with its current complement of talent – will continue to be truly world class.”

It is evidence that our Breast Unit was, is and will continue to be truly world class PROFESSOR MARTIN GORE, MEDICAL DIRECTOR, THE ROYAL MARSDEN

Hospital news

Dr Nicos Fotiadis, Consultant Interventional Radiologist

NEW TOOL DESTROYS HARD-TO-TREAT TUMOURS I nterventional radiologists at The Royal Marsden are now using a new machine to destroy tumours using pinhole surgery. The machine uses radiofrequency and microwave ablation to treat patients with small liver and lung metastases. These minimally invasive, localised treatments employ the placement of a small probe under

CT and ultrasound guidance to kill the tumour cells with heat, while sparing healthy tissue. Previously, patients were sent to Chelsea and Westminster Hospital and The London Clinic for this service, but now receive it on site. Eligible patients include those who cannot have surgery because the tumour is difficult to reach, have other medical conditions that make surgery

too risky, or have liver tumours that have not responded to chemotherapy or have recurred after being removed surgically. Dr Nicos Fotiadis, Consultant Interventional Radiologist at The Royal Marsden, said: “Interventional radiology uses the latest technology to treat cancer, prolong survival and, importantly, relieve symptoms and improve quality of life.

“This new machine is integral for a cancer centre. We can go back and take out anything left after chemotherapy and make the patient cancer-free. The patient’s experience is also improved as the treatment only requires an anaesthetic and overnight stay, enables a fast recovery and uses the newest software and scanners to provide the best results.”

High-tech radiotherapy system comes first to The Royal Marsden The Royal Marsden and The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) will become the first institutions in the UK to own one of the world’s most advanced radiotherapy machines, thanks to the award of a £9.6-million grant. Once fully developed for the clinic, the MR Linac system, which combines an MRI scanner

and a linear accelerator, will enable more accurate targeting of tumours before and during treatment – particularly of those that move, such as prostate, lung and breast cancers. This will allow doctors to increase the radiation dose delivered directly to a tumour, and reduce side effects by delivering a lower dose to surrounding tissue.

The grant will fund the purchase of the MR Linac system and its installation in a new facility at The Royal Marsden, enabling our researchers and clinicians to be among the world’s first to offer this pioneering form of radiotherapy to patients. Scientists at the ICR will develop the technology during pre-clinical research, and

clinicians at both organisations aim to begin treating the first patients in around three years – initially through clinical trials at the MR Linac facility. The grant was announced by Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne as part of an investment in UK science of more than £230 million by the Medical Research Council.


Hospital news


new type of ultrasound therapy has been demonstrated at a special evening at The Royal Marsden in Sutton. High-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) was pioneered by The Royal Marsden and The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) under the Focused Ultrasound Foundation’s Center

of Excellence programme. While HIFU is already used for cancer treatment, it is now being trialled at The Royal Marsden to reduce pain from bone metastases. The technique provides a non-invasive alternative method of pain control in cases where more radiotherapy cannot be given, or chemotherapeutic, analgesic or other drug

regimens have not been able to control the problem. HIFU employs an ultrasound beam that causes local heating and denervation of the bone’s surface. MRI is used to visualise the target area, ensuring that the beam can reach the target safely, and monitor the temperature of the target in order to ensure effective treatment.

The event, which was attended by clinical staff from The Royal Marsden and the ICR, involved a demonstration of the innovative equipment as well as a discussion of the initial results from a recent multicentre clinical trial. The live demonstration of HIFU’s ability to induce selective tissue damage non-invasively was delivered by Sharon Giles, MRI Research Radiographer. Nandita DeSouza, Professor of Translational Imaging at the ICR, Honorary Consultant Radiologist at The Royal Marsden and Clinical Director of the HIFU Centre, said: “It was fantastic to offer our colleagues the opportunity to see this groundbreaking treatment. “Having treated our first two patients, we plan to offer HIFU more widely in difficult-to-treat tumours, particularly those that have recurred and those for which conventional treatments are not possible.”

Generous legacy funds Chelsea Research Centre A new research hub has been opened at The Royal Marsden in Chelsea, thanks to the generous support of Countess Pamela Juvenile. Built on the former site of the Medical Day Unit, the Chelsea Research Centre houses more than 40 members of research staff. Countess Juvenile was a

patient at The Royal Marsden, and her friends and co-executors of her will, William Woodward-Fisher and Sir Ron De Witt, presented The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity with a donation following her death, aged 79, in 2013. Mr Woodward-Fisher and Sir Ron enjoyed a tour of the hospital before officially opening the Chelsea

Research Centre. They were joined by Mr WoodwardFisher’s wife Kerry and son Henry, and Countess Juvenile’s friend and carer Sandy Quinpao. A plaque at the centre was unveiled by Mr WoodwardFisher and Professor David Cunningham, Director of Clinical Research at The Royal Marsden. Professor Cunningham

said: “We are incredibly grateful for this generous donation, which has provided us with a bright and airy space for our researchers, who were previously in different buildings around the hospital site. Having our researchers under one roof will encourage teams to be more innovative and share good practice.”

Professor Gail ter Haar, Professor of Therapy Ultrasound at the ICR and Scientific Director of the HIFU Centre (left), and Professor Nandita DeSouza, Honorary Consultant Radiologist at The Royal Marsden and Clinical Director of the HIFU Centre



Hospital news


Scott Pollock, Vulnerable Adult Lead (centre), and his team assess all patients over 75 for signs of dementia

CARING FOR PATIENTS WITH DEMENTIA he Royal Marsden doesn’t just treat a patient’s cancer: the whole person is treated and all of their health and psychological needs are taken into account. The hospital has a team dedicated to the screening of patients over the age of 75 for dementia, or the possible onset of dementia, when they are admitted. Led by Scott Pollock, Vulnerable Adult Lead, the team comprises two older person champions, an audit lead and two administrators who ensure that every patient is assessed. This is in line with government guidelines as part of the national Commissioning for Quality and Innovation (CQUIN) plan to identify patients with dementia or undiagnosed dementia and to ensure that they receive the care they need while in hospital and at home. The requirement is that all emergency patients admitted to hospital must be assessed for dementia. At The Royal Marsden, we have taken this a step further and screen every relevant patient, regardless of whether they are emergency admissions, as we see it as crucial to providing patients with the care they need.


Scott said: “The team is incredibly committed to making sure that patients who need extra support get it. We are able to identify these patients and make the appropriate referrals to their GP, ensuring that they are aware that the patient has cognitive problems. “We also work hard to identify patients who have particular dementia needs prior to their admission. That means we work closely with their family, carer or care home team to look at what extra support the patient may need. This is particularly important for post-operative care – for example, we ensure that there is a familiar person with them following surgery to help minimise any additional confusion that being in hospital may cause.”

The team is incredibly committed to making sure that patients who need extra support get it

This year’s Annual General Meeting took place in front of a packed audience at The Royal Marsden in Chelsea. There were presentations from Dr Rowena Sharpe, Assistant Director of the NIHR Biomedical Research Centre (BRC), on how the BRC translates scientific advances into patient care; and from Professor Mitch Dowsett, Head of Academic Biochemistry and Head of the Centre for Molecular Pathology, and Dr Nick Turner, Honorary Consultant Medical Oncologist, about the Ralph Lauren Centre for Breast Cancer Research. Chief Executive Cally Palmer and Chairman R. Ian Molson also updated attendees on the Annual Report as well as the Trust’s performance, activities and achievements throughout the year. Minutes and presentation slides will be available at www. royalmarsden.nhs.uk

BRC PANEL REVIEW Experts from The Royal Marsden and The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) have presented their pioneering research to a panel of independent health professionals as part of an external review of their Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) status. As a BRC, The Royal Marsden and ICR together receive funding of £62 million over five years from the National Institute for Health Research to support our leading-edge biomedical research work.



Hospital news

First European meeting for patients with rare leukaemia type The Royal Marsden, in association with the Hairy Cell Leukaemia Foundation, has hosted the first hairy cell leukaemia (HCL) patient seminar in Europe – only the third event of its kind in the world. HCL is a rare type of chronic leukaemia that develops slowly over months or years. Under a microscope, the abnormal blood cells have hair-like projections on their surfaces, hence its name. Dr Claire Dearden, Consultant Haematologist and Head of the Haematooncology Unit at The Royal Marsden, organised the event after presenting at the first HCL seminars in New York and Texas. It gave 150 HCL patients from across Europe and their families the chance to discuss the latest developments with leading consultants, as well as network with fellow patients and board members of the Hairy Cell Leukaemia Foundation. Dr Dearden said: “It is for people with extremely rare cancers like HCL that these seminars are most valuable. Many of the patients have never spoken to anyone who has the same disease, so it was very encouraging for them to be able to share their experiences.”


Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State for Health, and Dianne Jeffrey, Chairman of Age UK, speak with patient Graham Copping during a recent visit to The Royal Marsden

NUTRITION AT THE TOP OF THE MENU eremy Hunt, Secretary of State for Health, announced on a visit to The Royal Marsden’s Chelsea site that hospitals are to be ranked on the quality of their food. Under the changes, NHS hospitals will have mandatory food standards and will be scored on a number of indicators including quality, choice, whether the menu is approved by a dietitian, and food available between meals. During his visit, Mr Hunt helped prepare food in the canteen with The Royal Marsden catering team and Age UK Chairman Dianne Jeffrey, before meeting patients on Burdett Coutts Ward. He spoke to patient Graham Copping about the food served at the hospital, which has won several awards and is renowned for its high standard.


The Health Secretary then took part in a round-table event with senior nursing staff and consultants, including Professor Martin Gore, Medical Director, Dr Clare Shaw, Consultant Dietitian, and Gareth Ferguson, Trust Catering Manager, to discuss the importance of nutrition. Nutrition is a key issue for dietitians at The Royal Marsden. This year, the Trust launched its own validated cancer-specific Nutrition Screening Tool on the wards to identify patients at risk

Malnourished patients take longer to recover and suffer from more complications DR CLARE SHAW, CONSULTANT DIETITIAN, THE ROYAL MARSDEN

of malnutrition, which comprises a series of short questions that all patients are asked on admission and weekly thereafter. Research carried out by our dietitians revealed that 71% of 126 patients who undertook a full nutritional assessment were malnourished or at risk of malnourishment. Dr Shaw said: “Cancer treatment can affect a patient’s appetite and eating habits, and will often cause side effects such as nausea and taste changes. It’s important for patients to get the right nutrients before and after treatment, as malnourished people take longer to recover and suffer from more complications. “The Royal Marsden understands that food is an integral part of patient care and we are committed to providing nutritious meals that are made daily using fresh ingredients.”

Hospital news

DIAGNOSTICS TRIAL FOR BREAST CANCER PATIENTS Patients with advanced breast cancer will soon be offered the opportunity to take part in a new molecular research trial at The Royal Marsden. The ABC Bio trial will test how the next generation of molecular diagnostics can offer more treatment options for patients with metastatic disease. One single biopsy, taken from each patient, will be tested for up to 50 genetic mutations. Dr Nicholas Turner, Consultant Medical Oncologist, who is leading the trial, said: “We will be able to identify genetic errors and use the information to match each patient to the correct treatment pathway.” The trial, funded by

Dr Nicholas Turner

the Biomedical Research Centre, will also test patients’ blood at the same time as the biopsy to see whether scientists can get the same data from a simple blood test.

Hot topics in breast cancer discussed

UK specialists came together with Royal Marsden consultants to discuss the most important recent developments in the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer. The 7th Annual Royal Marsden Breast Cancer Meeting was held at The Royal College of Physicians, London, in October and was attended by 350 clinicians and senior nurses. Dr Monica Morrow, Chief of Breast Surgery and Chair of Clinical Oncology at

Professor Ian Smith

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre, New York, was a guest speaker at the event and gave a talk about the changing role of surgery. A multidisciplinary team meeting with Royal Marsden

Dr Turner said: “This will be interesting for research purposes, as it will determine if we can use a less invasive blood test for trials in the future.” experts was also held to discuss difficult clinical cases, including cases put forward by the audience. Professor Ian Smith, Consultant Medical Oncologist and Head of the Breast Unit at The Royal Marsden, organised the event. He said: “The annual meeting is a great opportunity for leading consultants from The Royal Marsden and other hospitals around the UK to discuss what is new, clinically relevant and, indeed, controversial in the management of patients with breast cancer.”

FRIENDS OF THE ROYAL MARSDEN UPDATE CHELSEA ● The Friends of The Royal Marsden, Chelsea have purchased 10 state-of-the-art mobility chairs for the hospital following the success of this year’s Spirit of Summer Fair. The Friends were also delighted to have been joined by actress Sheila Hancock for the Gala Tea. ● The Friends came third in the Brighter Kensington and Chelsea Scheme and second in The London Gardens Society Trophy for their work on The Royal Marsden garden. Chairman Jacquie Gulbenkian said: “This is thanks to Marie Stacey, who has worked tirelessly in making the garden a tranquil place for patients and staff to enjoy.” ● The Friends are also pleased to be joining The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity’s Celebrate a Life event on 11 December.

SUTTON ● After 12 years as President and Trustee of The Friends of The Royal Marsden, Sutton, Barbara Fleming will be standing down at the end of 2014. Barbara joined the Friends 30 years ago and is a familiar face around the hospital. Chairman Jessica Dodwell said: “Barbara’s dedication to the Friends is renowned, but she is better known to our individual members and to staff, who over the years have been the recipients of her generosity, kind words and concern for their welfare.” Barbara will remain a member of the Friends’ Advisory Committee, and will continue to sort the books and take the mobile shop trolley round the wards.


Hospital news

Professor Johann de Bono chaired the Scientific Committee at the 2014 ESMO Congress

Steven Landeg, Senior Radiographer

Radiographer makes his mark with tattoo study Steven Landeg, Senior Radiographer at The Royal Marsden, presented a poster on the BRITER study at the National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI) conference in Liverpool in November. The study, funded by the National Institute for Health Research Biomedical Research Centre, looked at the use of fluorescent ink tattoos instead of conventional dark ink tattoos for external references during breast radiotherapy. Steven said: “Dark ink tattoos can negatively impact on the patient’s long-term cosmetic outcome, serve as a reminder of their diagnosis and treatment, and be challenging to locate when patients have dark skin tones. Fluorescent ink tattoos, which are only visible in ultraviolet light, offer an innovative solution, but had never before been clinically tested.”

Fluorescent ink tattoos are only visible in ultraviolet light, but had never been clinically tested STEVEN LANDEG, SENIOR RADIOGRAPHER, THE ROYAL MARSDEN


EXPERTS TAKE CENTRE STAGE AT EUROPEAN CANCER CONFERENCE eading consultants from The Royal Marsden and The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) presented at the annual European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) Congress in Madrid in September. Professor Johann de Bono chaired the Scientific Committee, which organised the presentations, lectures and posters at this year’s conference, with the theme ‘Precision Medicine in Cancer Care’. More than 18,500 people from around the world attended the event – a 15 per cent rise in attendees on ESMO 2012. Five of the 23 key advisors on the Scientific Committee were Royal Marsden and ICR cancer experts, including Professors Martin Gore, David Cunningham,


Ian Judson, Stan Kaye and Julian Downward. Professor Ian Smith and Dr Nicholas Turner both provided updates in the management of metastatic breast cancers, while Dr Susana Banerjee presented the results from a European survey that looked at professional burnout in young oncologists. Dr Ian Chau chaired sessions on neuroendocrine tumours, and Dr James Larkin co-chaired a discussion about immunotherapy versus targeted therapy. Dr Udai Banerji took part in a special symposium about molecular profiling and the challenges of personalised medicine, while Professor Ros Eeles presented at a genetics

symposium and Dr Aisha Miah co-chaired a session on soft tissue sarcomas. Several other cancer specialists from The Royal Marsden took part in poster discussions, debates and symposiums, including Drs Mary O’Brien, Gerhardt Attard, Chris Parker, Naureen Starling, Sanjay Popat and Marco Gerlinger, and Professor Kevin Harrington. Professor Gore, Medical Director at The Royal Marsden, said: “Important data was presented at ESMO this year; in addition, there were high-quality education sessions and symposia. It’s great to see so many of our colleagues presenting in such high numbers at what was an event of exceptionally high standard.”

A patient’s perspective


I’m proud to be back at The Royal Marsden I was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma when I was 10 years old. The treatment and care I received at The Royal Marsden was incredible and inspired me to go into medicine. I was so grateful to the doctors and nurses for saving my life... Ferhana Najeeb, 22 Former Royal Marsden patient Ferhana Najeeb now works as a Medical Laboratory Assistant at the hospital

hen I was diagnosed, I had experienced months of symptoms. Childhood cancer is so rare that it can often take a while to get a diagnosis. When I came to The Royal Marsden, I was given chemotherapy straight away and was told I would


lose my hair. I was so scared. I kept looking around at the other children further along in their treatment, thinking, “What will happen to me?” I came through the two-year treatment programme really well, thanks to the support of the nurses and my consultant

Dr Mary Taj. Unfortunately, a few years later, I got Graves’ disease, an autoimmune condition that affects the thyroid gland. I was treated with radioiodine for a couple of weeks and was not allowed to have any contact with anyone, which was really difficult. I now attend Dr Kate Newbold’s thyroid clinic for regular check-ups. For years, I have donated money to The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity, but I felt that this wasn’t enough, so I explored the possibility of becoming an oncologist myself. I am now studying Biomedical Science at Middlesex University and working as a Medical Laboratory Assistant at The Royal Marsden’s Centre for Molecular Pathology during the holidays. I believe that all of my experiences have helped make me the person I am today. I feel so proud to be working at The Royal Marsden and get such a buzz wandering along the corridors and seeing some of the porters who wheeled me around as a patient. When we receive a paediatric sample in the laboratory, I think, “Someone was doing this for me years ago.” I am so happy that I can contribute to young patients’ treatment in a small way now, and hope I will be able to do more in the future. My dream is to come back to The Royal Marsden as a paediatric oncologist and help children in the way that Dr Taj helped me.

I am so happy that I can contribute to young patients’ treatment in a small way now

Dr Mary Taj, Consultant Paediatric Oncologist “I remember Ferhana coming into the clinic for the first time as a lively young girl. She dealt with her illness and treatment really well and followed all our advice. Even when she developed Graves’ disease as a teenager, her attitude was remarkable. “She always remained focused on her studies, which must have been difficult at times. We have a school room in the Oak Centre for Children and Young People to help patients stay on track with their studies. “I do discuss exams with teenage patients as I want all my patients to reach their potential. A few have taken up careers in nursing, and another is currently at medical school. “Ferhana told me a long time ago she wanted to be a doctor and I fully support her decision. If she adopts the same determination as she did with her treatment to her education, I am sure she will do very well.”


Nursing focus

Hannah Tutcher is a nurse in The Royal Marsden’s Critical Care Unit


Nursing focus


On the frontline of cancer care At The Royal Marsden, our patients are at the heart of everything we do. Pivotal to this are our nurses, whose dedication and compassion ensures that patients receive the best care throughout their treatment


he Royal Marsden has always been at the forefront of quality and research in nursing to ensure patients receive the best care. We know that the treatment pathway for our patients can be lengthy and complex, from public education and awareness to diagnosis, acute treatment and living with and beyond cancer. So we pride ourselves on training nurses to the highest standards so that they can nurture patients through every step of their treatment. The nurses of The Royal Marsden work in all settings in community care and across all inpatient care, daycare and outpatient settings. Dr Shelley Dolan, Chief Nurse at The Royal Marsden, says: “Our nurses contribute immensely to patient care and play a vital role in improved patient outcomes and experience. “When people with cancer are frightened and vulnerable, our nurses walk alongside them, and can translate the science of cancer and the treatment they are undergoing to them. The nurse gets to know the person and what is important to them, and provides a comprehensive

approach to the safest, most effective care and the best experience. “Our staff nurses concentrate on the patients’ immediate needs while they are in hospital and in the community, and have a really vital role in ensuring that patients are informed about their plan of care and in liaising with the multidisciplinary team.” Dr Dolan joined The Royal Marsden in 1994 as a Clinical Nurse Specialist and in 2000 became the first Nurse Consultant in Cancer: Critical Care in the UK. As Chief Nurse, she has successfully argued for nurses to lead research studies as primary researchers – there are now 12 PhD-qualified nurses working in the hospital’s health services research unit. Dr Dolan, who is also Clinical Director for the London Cancer Alliance, says: “I believe that nurses are essential to patient care at The Royal Marsden. This is why we dedicate so much time and resource to helping them develop, from entry-level upwards. “As cancer treatments have become more sophisticated over the years, so have the scope of opportunities for cancer nurses and their responsibilities for patient care.” ➜

Our nurses contribute immensely to patient care and improved outcomes DR SHELLEY DOLAN, CHIEF NURSE


Our nurses work in a range of fields across The Royal Marsden. Here, some of them explain why their roles are so crucial to the care of our patients


Staff Nurse, Oak Ward

We care for patients who are on Phase I clinical trials. It is extremely interesting as we are trialling new experimental treatments that have been developed in the labs through our scientists’ groundbreaking cancer research. It is wonderful to work with such knowledgeable staff and alongside some of the most amazing people, our patients. RM MAGAZINE 13

Nursing focus

Our team of critical care nurses are highly trained to help care for some of our most unwell patients


Senior Staff Nurse, Critical Care Unit

Cancer nursing at The Royal Marsden can offer a variety of opportunities for staff with different levels of experience. I have been working in the Critical Care Unit (CCU) since I qualified and joined the hospital as a band 5 nurse three years ago. I loved cancer nursing all through my training, but also really enjoyed acute nursing in A&E. Working in CCU was a perfect choice for me as it involved both areas of interest. To be a good CCU nurse, I think you need a lot of compassion to be able to deal with very poorly patients and their families, and assertiveness to have the confidence to make quick decisions. No two days are ever the same, and it is incredible to be able to work so closely with patients. The Royal Marsden’s CCU has 16 beds, which makes it one of the largest specialist cancer CCUs in Europe. Our patients are often admitted following major surgery or for the management of underlying health conditions, cancer or cancer-related treatment. I recently moved up to team leader in CCU. Being partly responsible for 16 patients can be quite overwhelming, but we are well supported by senior staff and are encouraged to always ask for help if we need it. The CCU is the umbrella term for two types of patient. The intensive care patients require one-to-one care, and high-dependency patients who are less at risk need two-to-one care. I feel very fortunate to work at The Royal Marsden as it offers good career progression and excellent leadership by some of our nursing managers, such as Chief Nurse Shelley Dolan and Divisional Clinical Nurse Director Jen Watson, who also worked in CCU earlier in their careers.

Senior Staff Nurse Hannah Tutcher and colleague in the Critical Care Unit



Initiative ensures efficient shift changes and empowers patients

A new guide has transformed the way our ward nurses update each other when they change shifts. The process of handing over the care of each patient is completed at the beginning and end of each nursing shift. Bedside handovers ensure that the nurses discuss each patient at their bedside rather than in a private meeting room away from the patients. The guide was trialled on wards in both Chelsea and Sutton to enable a systematic, concise handover based on the Situation Background Assessment Recommendation framework. This ensures that patients are involved in their own care and have the opportunity to discuss their condition and any concerns, while being reassured by hearing that relevant information is passed on to the next shift. Nurses also take the opportunity to mutually review vital signs, fluid balance and prescription charts. Matron Ann Duncan introduced the new handover guide on Wilson, Markus, Smithers and Kennaway wards, and due to its success, it will

Matron Ann Duncan (centre) and a colleague at a patient’s bedside

be implemented across the Trust. She says: “The handover discussions used to be held in a meeting room on the ward. Although they were thorough, they did not give nurses the opportunity to see every patient to enable a baseline visual assessment. “Now, the entire nursing team meet all patients during handover, which really helps if they are covering a colleague’s meal break later in the shift. It also has empowered our patients, and they say they like the handover at the bedside. Patients say they appreciate being involved at handover, which gives them a better understanding of their plan of care. “What also came as a surprise is that the bedside handover is actually quicker than the traditional meetings, as everyone is more focused.” The bedside handover guide was developed as part of the nursing review led by Jen Watson, Divisional Clinical Nurse Director. She says: “Changing practice is always a challenge, especially when the old system was not perceived as being ineffective. However, it is important that we strive to improve our nursing care and are open to new ideas on how we can achieve this.” ➜


Senior Staff Nurse, Private Patients

I have worked in Outpatients for 26 years. It has changed so much over the years. With new life-changing treatments, we are far more outpatient-focused today. I feel I was trained well when I started, and I really enjoy passing on that experience to newly trained nurses.


Nursing focus


Matron, Oak Centre for Children and Young People

I am thrilled to be the Matron of the Oak Centre for Children and Young People. I’m committed to the care of children and young people and their families, and enjoy ensuring that their cancer journey is safe, efficient and of the highest possible standard. The modern matron role has many daily challenges and responsibilities, and I am lucky to work with a wonderfully committed multidisciplinary workforce in the unit. I hope I inspire all nurses and others in the department to believe that we are all leaders. By working together, we can continue to provide the excellent care our patients and families deserve when going through such a difficult time. MARTINE MILTON

Senior Research Nurse, Breast Unit

I am always amazed by the strength and determination of our research patients. As a nurse, this is hugely rewarding and makes me want to mirror the time and effort our patients give to the hospital. Some research has no direct benefit to a particular patient, but despite their own diagnosis, they will give numerous blood samples and undergo biopsies purely for altruistic reasons. As a member of the breast team, every day is different. There are usually challenges to overcome, but being surrounded by a hugely dedicated and supportive team that values research makes it a privilege. 16  RM MAGAZINE

The Royal Marsden has nine operating theatres across the Trust. Our scrub nurses play a vital role in ensuring that all operations go well


Staff Nurse, Theatres

I have worked as a theatre nurse since I joined The Royal Marsden in 2009. I trained as a nurse in 1997 in Bangalore, India, and spent some time working in Dubai before coming to the UK. I did the NHS nurse adaptation course and theatre course before moving into theatre nursing. I really enjoy working in theatres because it is different and much more technically challenging than other nursing specialities. My duties begin well before the start of the operation. Having the right equipment and staff to support the operation is essential, so planning is very important. During an operation, which can vary in duration from a few hours to all day, it’s my responsibility to ensure the patient’s safety and also to keep the surgical team happy – in particular the surgeon – as this is essential for the success of an operation. We all need to be quick and have good critical thinking skills. Working in theatre all day can be very intense, but the buzz from working so closely with the team is fantastic. We all need to have a lot of energy because not only are we on our feet all day, but we are also concentrating on one very important task for the entire time. I believe that a good scrub nurse is one who anticipates rather than responds to a request. As a team leader, my crucial responsibility is to be an advocate for patients while they are at their most vulnerable, and to manage the overall nursing care of surgical patients, working closely with the surgical team to ensure the best outcomes for our patients. rm

Ash Dileep, Staff Nurse, Theatres RM MAGAZINE 17


Joining the dots As a Biomedical Research Centre, The Royal Marsden and The Institute of Cancer Research together receive funding from the National Institute for Health Research to support our pioneering work. Here, we find out why clinical studies research is fundamental to enhancing treatment for our patients


he Royal Marsden and The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) together have the status of Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) – the only one in the UK dedicated to cancer. With Professor David Cunningham, Director of Clinical Research, as Theme Lead, the BRC Clinical Studies theme harnesses the latest knowledge in molecular pathology, cancer imaging and drug development to offer our patients a personalised treatment plan within innovative clinical trials. Researchers ensure that information flows between the laboratory and the clinic to rapidly translate findings into benefits for patients. They also work closely with many of the other themes as part of an integrated approach, usually in collaboration with other BRCs and cancer centres nationally. An exciting development has been the recruitment of patients with different cancer types that share a particular genetic or molecular abnormality onto clinical trials of targeted drugs. These trials run across several BRC THEMES As part of our series looking at our work as a Biomedical Research Centre, we focused on the following BRC themes in previous issues: Cancer Imaging Dr Dow-Mu Koh


tumour-specific units at The Royal Marsden and often in other cancer hospitals. Professor Cunningham says: “The aims are to test pre-clinical theories relating to targeted drugs in a clinical setting and to refine patient selection strategies for the drugs based on biomarkers. This stratified medicine approach is a consideration in many disease areas, not just cancer. Through our trials, we are working out how to implement this approach in the clinics.” For example, the Haematooncology Unit is running the CLARITY study. Led by Consultant Haematologist Dr Sunil Iyengar, it is looking for biomarkers of response or resistance to ibrutinib – a targeted drug for chronic lymphocytic leukaemia and mantle cell lymphoma – using blood samples collected from hundreds of patients nationally. Dr Iyengar says: “As we move towards more targeted treatments, this study will help identify which patients are more likely to respond to the drug and benefit from the treatment.”

In the Gynaecology Unit, Consultant Medical Oncologist Dr Susana Banerjee is Research Lead on the CORAL trial, which explores whether the prostate cancer drug abiraterone can help women with ovarian cancer. Dr Banerjee says: “This study aims to see whether abiraterone can shrink ovarian cancer, delay the time before the cancer gets worse, and improve symptoms. The drug was first developed at the ICR and The Royal Marsden, and we hope it will also have beneficial effects for ovarian cancer patients.” And as part of a joint venture with Imperial College London, the Gastrointestinal Unit at The Royal Marsden is researching the role of bacteria in colorectal cancer. The study is being led by Professor Julian Teare, Professor of Gastroenterology. Dr James Alexander, Clinical Research Fellow, who is working with Professor Teare, says: “The BUGS project aims to define which bacteria are involved and what they are doing so we can target treatment more effectively.” rm

Molecular Pathology Professor Mitch Dowsett Cancer Therapeutics Professor Johann de Bono Breast Cancer Dr Nicholas Turner Prostate Professor David Dearnaley

Look out for future issues of RM, in which we will highlight the work of the remaining BRC themes and the role of their leads: Cancer Genetics Professor Nazneen Rahman Radiotherapy Professor Kevin Harrington

NIHR Biomedical Research Centre

Stratified medicine is a consideration in many disease areas, not just cancer. We’re working out how to implement this approach in clinics PROFESSOR DAVID CUNNINGHAM, DIRECTOR OF CLINICAL RESEARCH


We counsel each patient and ensure that they understand how to take their medication

Shirley Clifton manages the pharmacy’s clinical trials team at The Royal Marsden, ensuring that patients taking part in trials receive the correct medication


Staff profile


Shirley Clifton Clinical Trials Operational Manager, Pharmacy


s the Clinical Trials Operational Manager in Pharmacy, I oversee a team that is responsible for co-ordinating medication for patients taking part in one of The Royal Marsden’s drugs trials, of which there are 310 as I write. I have worked at The Royal Marsden for six years and love the variety of my job. No two days are the same: I have to juggle the different elements of my role to ensure that trials are set up promptly and run effectively, providing high-quality care for all patients. My working day starts at about 8.45am. I say hello to my team before checking emails for anything urgent that has come in overnight from overseas trial sponsors. Collecting vital data We have redesigned the pharmacy service and implemented a separate dispensing workstream for patients on clinical trials. These prescriptions can take extra time because there are additional requirements that need to be completed to ensure high standards and credible data to support the research. The information we collect is used as evidence that the medication is safe and effective, so that the drug can be developed further and become standard treatment. We need to make sure that each patient receives the right medication at the right time according to the trial protocol. Some trials are more complicated than others, with treatment and doses varying each week, so it’s essential that we counsel each patient and ensure that they understand how to take their medication. Some days

are busier than others, based on the different clinics, and we usually dispense about 300 trial items a week. We try to get trial medication prescribed and dispensed in advance to improve the patient’s experience and speed up waiting times. A big part of my day is ensuring that we are running studies according to the trial sponsors’ instructions and that we are complying with good clinical practice. I co-ordinate training for the pharmacy staff so that they have the skills to work on clinical trials – it’s an element of my role that I really enjoy. Multidisciplinary working I also work closely with the wider research community at the Trust, including various research teams, Research and Development and medical colleagues, to facilitate the smooth running of trials and address any problems or queries as they arise. This multidisciplinary approach has strengthened our pharmacy service. The pharmacy closes at 5.30pm, and I often stay an extra hour to make the most of the peace and quiet to catch up on outstanding queries, plan ahead and deal with service development, recruitment and management issues. I work with a large, dedicated and experienced team of staff across both sites at The Royal Marsden who help me to do my job, so it’s important to me that they are happy and feel supported. I work with really good people, both within the department and the wider Trust, and I’m proud of my whole team. rm



In the public domain Patients are at the centre of our research, and it’s vital that their voices – and those of interested members of the public – are heard when our trials are being designed in order to meet their needs. Here, we explain how our research into bowel cancer has benefited from the input of patients and the public


t The Royal Marsden, we know that it’s important to hear the views of people who could potentially be affected by our research, in order to ensure that the patient is at the heart of the decision-making process. As the country’s only National Institute for Health Research Biomedical Research Centre dedicated solely to cancer, we believe this is about empowering individuals and communities so that they can play a greater role in shaping healthcare research. Our patient and carer research review panel was set up in 2011 and has already improved research projects conducted at The Royal Marsden. The panel of up to 20 people, led by Clinical Nursing Research Fellow Natalie Pattison, meets four times a year to discuss ideas presented by investigators and to discuss priorities. It also undertakes email reviews of

documents to make patient information more comprehensible for laypeople. Professor Gina Brown, Consultant Radiologist and Professor in Gastrointestinal Cancer Imaging at The Royal Marsden and Imperial College London, believes that her team’s research portfolio has benefited from the input of patients and the public. The team has been working closely with patient John Amos, who leads the Bowel Cancer Support Group at the South East Cancer Help Centre (SECHC) in Purley, Surrey. Professor Brown says: “John is a very important voice in bridging the gap between complex trial information and what patients understand, helping to translate it so that they have all the relevant information about the trial they are involved in. He, along with other patients, has been involved not only at the start of the trial process, but also in ➜

Patients have been involved at the start of the trial process and have helped to design trials to better suit their needs PROFESSOR GINA BROWN, CONSULTANT RADIOLOGIST AND PROFESSOR IN GASTROINTESTINAL CANCER IMAGING AT THE ROYAL MARSDEN AND IMPERIAL COLLEGE LONDON


Professor Gina Brown (left), Consultant Radiologist and Professor in Gastrointestinal Cancer Imaging at The Royal Marsden and Imperial College London, and Dr Anita Wale, NIHR Academic Clinical Fellow in Clinical Radiology

Patient and public involvement

FIVE BOWEL CANCER TRIALS WITH PATIENT AND PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT THE DEFERRAL OF SURGERY TRIAL aims to show that rectal surgery can be delayed or avoided after chemo-radiotherapy until a time when the patient will benefit the most from it. THE IMPRESS TRIAL randomises patients with pelvic sigmoid cancers to have a pre-operative

MRI scan, with the aim of using scans to improve treatment. THE LOW RECTAL CANCER QUALITY OF LIFE STUDY, led by Nick Battersby, Pelican Cancer Foundation and Royal Marsden Clinical Research Fellow, aims to show that imaging can be used to individualise the treatment

approach of patients with low rectal cancer to preserve quality of life and improve surgical cure rates by better staging. THE MARVEL STUDY looks at the use of MR imaging before surgery to identify venous invasion, a valuable marker for tumours with a bad prognosis in rectal cancer.

THE SERENADE TRIAL, led by Dr Anita Wale, NIHR Academic Clinical Fellow in Clinical Radiology, examines whether a short pre-operative diffusionweighted MRI scan of the liver finds more liver metastases compared with the current standard of CT alone. RM MAGAZINE 23

Patient and public involvement

Patients’ personal experiences can help ensure that the trial is designed in a way that has the patient at the centre of it JOHN AMOS, LEADER OF THE BOWEL CANCER SUPPORT GROUP

helping to design trials to better suit the needs of patients. “It is also vital that we let patients know the outcomes of our trials and keep engaging with them. By working with John and SECHC, we can do this effectively. “We have held two research days to involve patients in the design of several trials, with input from John and two other patients representing the SECHC, and our patient reps have made outstanding and informed contributions. Thanks to this input, we have successfully been funded for five new clinical trials in the past year.” John has been instrumental in helping to influence a number of important bowel cancer trials from his perspective as a patient and by spreading that information to others. He says: “It is incredibly important that the patient is heard throughout the trial process, from design and protocol to the results. Our personal experiences can help ensure that the trial is designed in a way that has the patient at the centre of it.” rm

Patient and public involvement in trials is increasingly important at The Royal Marsden

JOHN’S STORY John Amos was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2010 and had an operation to remove the affected bowel followed by six months of chemotherapy at Sutton. He joined the Bowel Cancer Support Group at the South East Cancer Help Centre (SECHC) and found the mutual support invaluable. As leader of the group, John now supports other patients with bowel cancer, as well as ensuring that their voices are heard at The Royal Marsden when trial protocols are being designed and implemented. The Royal Marsden’s research fellows and consultants also speak at the group’s monthly meetings and answer patients’ questions.


The SECHC is an important resource for cancer patients and has supported hundreds over the years. The centre has a stand at Sutton one day a month and every second month at Chelsea to provide information and support to patients. The next stands will be on 15 December 2014 in Sutton and 9 January 2015 in Chelsea. The Bowel Cancer Support Group meets at 7–9pm on the first Wednesday of every month at the SECHC. For more information, call 020 8668 0974, email info@bowelcancersupport.org.uk or visit www.bowelcancersupport.org.uk. For more information about the South East Cancer Help Centre, visit www. sechc.org.uk or call the above number.


The Big C stars Patients, staff and supporters cooked, climbed, cycled and got creative for The Big C Challenge this September. The month-long fundraising campaign for The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity involved people being sponsored to take on any challenge beginning with C, in order to support the pioneering work of The Royal Marsden. Staff from Outpatients and the Rapid Diagnostic and Assessment Centre climbed Up at The O2 for their Big C Challenge, while Professor Ian Smith, Head of the Breast Unit, took on a gruelling cycle over the Alps with the friends and family of one of his patients. Patient Al Tindale and 22 of his friends climbed Mount Snowdon exactly one year after he was diagnosed with leukaemia. Al, who is now in remission, said: “We all wanted to leave the memories of what has been a pretty traumatic year behind us at the summit.” More than 70 celebrities helped to highlight the campaign on social media by taking ‘C-selfies’, including Benedict Cumberbatch, Ricky Gervais, Sharon and Ozzy Osbourne and Dannii Minogue. Amanda Heaton, Community and Corporate Fundraising Manager for The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity, said: “It’s been amazing to see so many people take The Big C Challenge. Thank you to all our staff, patients and supporters in the community who have taken part. Early indications show that we’ve raised over £100,000, which is incredible.” Clockwise from top: Errol Kennedy from the band Imagination (right) and son Spencer climb Up at The O2; patient Al Tindale and friends; staff from the Rapid Diagnostic and Assessment Centre (RDAC) and Outpatients; Professor Ian Smith cycles across France RM MAGAZINE 25


Where your money goes Thanks to the efforts of supporters over more than a decade, The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity has had an impact on the lives of thousands of cancer patients by contributing more than £100 million towards modern facilities, leading-edge technology and groundbreaking research at The Royal Marsden or more than a decade, The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity has committed to supporting the work of The Royal Marsden. Charity supporters have raised more than £100 million to fund the best equipment, facilities and projects so that the hospital’s experts can carry out life-changing work in cancer research, diagnosis, treatment and care. From scientists searching for cures and doctors depending on the latest technology and drugs, to staff using our state-of-the-art facilities, the charity is there to support their work, helping to push the boundaries for the benefit of our patients.


Building for the future

Modern facilities are vital for a world-leading cancer hospital, and The Royal Marsden boasts light and bright environments that have been designed around patient needs and are able to deliver the latest treatments. The charity has supported the 26  RM MAGAZINE

rebuilding of the Chelsea hospital following the devastating fire there in 2008. This includes the Medical Day Unit, where patients have chemotherapy in comfortable surroundings; seven new theatres, where innovative new surgical procedures are carried out; the UK’s only Critical Care Unit, which provides full intensive care exclusively for cancer patients; and the revamp of Ellis and Horder wards. In Sutton, the charity helped fund the Oak Centre for Children and Young People (OCCYP), one of the largest comprehensive paediatric cancer centres in Europe, which was officially opened in September 2011 by TRH The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Also, responding to demand for more haematooncology outpatient services, the charity funded the extension and redevelopment of the Bud Flanagan Ambulatory Care Unit, which allows us to treat more day patients rather than admitting them to hospital.

High-tech tools

New technology is also central to keeping The Royal Marsden at the forefront of treatment and care. The charity has funded equipment such as the da Vinci S surgical robot, which allows surgeons to perform minimally invasive procedures; CyberKnife, the latest in precision radiotherapy treatment; state-ofthe-art 3T MRI scanners, which give clinicians clearer images of

patients’ tumours; PlasmaJet, an exciting device used in advanced ovarian cancer surgery; and the brand-new Koelis UroStation, a revolutionary software platform that enables clinicians to pioneer a technique for testing patients for prostate cancer.

Research breakthroughs

The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity also supports pioneering cancer research and drug


Thanks a million

Previous page, from top: the support of The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity has been vital in research and drug development; the Critical Care Unit; HRH The Duchess of Cambridge at the opening of the Oak Centre for Children and Young People. Above: the state-of-the-art CyberKnife provides precision radiotherapy treatment

development, helping to cement The Royal Marsden as an international leader in drug trials. The charity has funded the trial of abiraterone, which represents a huge breakthrough in the treatment of advanced prostate cancer; the trials of the advanced melanoma drugs vemurafenib and ipilimumab; and paediatric drug development. Plus, by helping to fund the hospital’s Centre for Molecular

Pathology, the charity has been instrumental in the progression towards personalised medicines that target every patient’s individual tumour. Scientists, pathologists, geneticists and clinicians are now working together under one roof to provide more patients with a molecular diagnosis, giving our experts a clearer understanding of tumours and the most effective way to treat them. rm

The David Adams Leukaemia Appeal Fund has supported the work of The Royal Marsden since 1991, raising more than £1 million over the past 23 years. Founded by Mandie Adams McGuire, the wife of the late David Adams, who passed away from leukaemia, the fundraising group has funded research posts and The David Adams Nurses’ Library at the Chelsea hospital, and raised £400,000 towards the Bud Flanagan Ambulatory Care Unit and £200,000 for the Centre for Molecular Pathology at Sutton. All the money raised by the David Adams Leukaemia Appeal Fund goes straight to The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity. Every year, the group holds the Grace Ball and a celebrity cricket match, as well as other successful fundraising events. In August, a team took on the gruelling Prudential RideLondon–Surrey 100 cycle challenge, and then in September, the 2014 Golf Extravaganza was once more held at Coombe Hill Golf Club, raising more than £50,000. Nicky Browne, Interim Director of The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity, said: “The David Adams Leukaemia Appeal Fund has given wonderful support to The Royal Marsden. The money they raise directly benefits patients and we really appreciate the tireless hard work and dedication of Mandie and her committee. “This dedication was recognised in the 2014 Queen’s Birthday Honours, when Mandie was awarded an MBE.” RM MAGAZINE 27



In the latest instalment of our series profiling The Royal Marsden’s Governors, we introduce Public Governor Ann Curtis and Patient Governor Maggie Harkness

Ann Curtis, Public Governor Ann is the longest-serving Public Governor on the council and represents the Elsewhere in England constituency. She is also the Co-chair of the Membership and Communications Group. At the end of 2014, she will be running for re-election for the third time. Ann’s husband John, who has been a Member for more than a decade, put her forward for the role. Over the past six years, Ann has seen The Royal Marsden develop into a modern cancer centre, with highlights including the launch of the revolutionary Rapid Diagnostic and Assessment Centre and the


completion of the state-of-theart Oak Centre for Children and Young People at Sutton. With 30 years of experience in both private healthcare and the NHS, Ann has been involved in patient counselling, dealing with relatives of patients, and assisting bereaved relatives. She says: “The ethos followed by all those involved with The Royal Marsden is what makes the hospital so superb. The caring nature of the nurses, clinicians, doctors and professors and the sensitive way they handle patients is fantastic. “I’m so proud to have been a Governor for the past six years, and I hope to continue for the next three years.”

Maggie Harkness, Patient Governor Maggie was a patient at The Royal Marsden in 2009, and the care that she received spurred her on to become a Patient Governor. She has been in post since May 2013. Maggie has 37 years of experience working in NHS hospitals in London and Surrey. When she retired, she was keen to stay involved in healthcare, and becoming a Governor seemed like the perfect opportunity. She remains interested in ongoing issues affecting the NHS. Her experience as both a patient and an NHS staff member gives her a rounded view of how things can be improved.

Since her time as a patient, Maggie has already seen vast improvements in the outpatient waiting areas. She says that the refurbished Medical Day Unit in Chelsea is fantastic, and meets the needs of patients who are waiting for chemotherapy treatment at what can be an emotional and worrying time. She says: “I am really keen to drive awareness of the Trust and to get new patient members involved and engaged with The Royal Marsden. Over the next few months, I’ll be assisting with members’ events, and I hope to get out and about at both the Sutton and Chelsea sites to listen to patients and existing members.”

Foundation news

Quality Accounts In November, the Trust held its Annual Quality Account Members’ event in Chelsea. Hosted by Chief Nurse Dr Shelley Dolan, the event gave our Members the opportunity to be involved in the development and selection of our quality priorities. Members worked in small groups to discuss what they think makes a difference to patient care and suggested areas for improvement over the next year. The group work revealed what matters to the patients, carers and the public we serve. This information is then relayed to the Quality Assurance team. Members at the event also heard about recent advances in radiotherapy, the work being done to ensure patient feedback within community services, and the development of values for the Critical Care Unit.

Dr Carol Joseph

YOUR CHANCE TO BECOME A GOVERNOR With a deadline for nominations of 12 December, there is still time to express an interest in being elected as a Public Governor of The Royal Marsden. Members from outside the London boroughs can stand for the Public Governor election, which takes place in January 2015. Non-members are also invited to put themselves forward. The Council of Governors plays a significant role in the governance framework of the Trust. By attending quarterly Council meetings and the Annual General Meeting, Governors become aware of and discuss key issues as well as the strategic direction of the organisation, while representing the views of their members. If you would like to be a candidate or require further information, please call Rebecca Hudson on 020 7808 2844 or email rebecca.hudson@rmh.nhs.uk Public Governor election: key dates Nominations opened Deadline for nominations Voting packs despatched Close of election Results published

Thursday 27 November 2014 Friday 12 December 2014 Monday 5 January 2015 Friday 23 January 2015 Monday 26 January 2015

Keep in touch

Dates for your diary Council of Governors meeting Wednesday 4 March 2015, 11am–1pm, Chelsea Dr Shelley Dolan

Lead Governor reappointed Dr Carol Joseph, Public Governor for Kensington & Chelsea, has been reappointed as Lead Governor for a second term. The purpose of the role is to act as a two-way conduit between Council of Governors and Monitor in rare and specific circumstances. Carol said: “I’m very pleased to have been reelected as Lead Governor and look forward to working with my fellow Governors again over the next year. “As elected Governors, we are all committed to the continuing success of this important medical institution and to supporting the excellent work of its Board and hospital staff.”

Board of Directors meeting Wednesday 18 March 2015, 10am–12pm, Chelsea

To attend either meeting, please call 020 7811 8558

Become a Member and/or contact your Governor: telephone 020 7808 2844, email foundation.trust @rmh.nhs.uk or visit www.royalmarsden. nhs.uk/membership RM MAGAZINE 29


Test your wits


Complete our crossword and you could win £50 in John Lewis vouchers SUDOKU


7 2 6 4

Star letter

3 5 2 8 6 9 7 8 1 7 3 9 2 6 7 9 5 8 6 7 5 2 2 9 8 1




Dear RM, When I was diagnosed with breast cancer, I cursed myself for not having taken my body’s warning signs seriously, and was sure I’d be looking at a mastectomy or certain death. But thanks to the magnificent treatment I’ve received from The Royal Marsden’s Sir William Rous Unit in Kingston, I lead a full life. My advice to any woman who is concerned she has breast cancer is: don’t be afraid – make an appointment to get it sorted out immediately. Ruth Jemmett








11 12

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Fill in your details below when sending in your crossword competition entry. See right for details of our address. NAME

Across 1 Wood (5) 4 Go in (5) 6 Lamp (7) 8 Call out to someone (4) 9 Lowest point (5) 12 Requires something essential (5) 13 Operatic character (4) 15 Fish (7) 17 Mix (5) 18 Boy’s name (5) Down 1 Animals (9) 2 Football term (7) 3 Lock (4) 4 Weather phenomenon (2,4) 5 Knot together (3) 7 Flower (9) 10 Operating a car (7) 11 Woodlouse, maybe (6) 14 Song written for opera (4) 16 Card (3)



Congratulations to Mrs D Isherwood, the winner of last issue’s crossword prize.


The lucky winner of our prize crossword will receive £50 in John Lewis vouchers. We also welcome your thoughts on RM magazine and love to hear about your experiences at the hospital. The Star Letter wins £50 in John Lewis vouchers. Send your crossword or letter with your name and contact details to RM, Press Office, The Royal Marsden, Fulham Road, Chelsea, London SW3 6JJ. The entry closing date is Monday 12 January 2015. See below for prize draw rules. PRIZE DRAWS & STAR LETTER TERMS & CONDITIONS: 1. The Prize Draws and Star Letter are open to all readers of RM except employees of the Press Office at The Royal Marsden and Sunday, who produce RM magazine. 2. The closing date for receipt of all entries is Monday 12 January 2015. Only one entry per person per draw. 3. Responsibility cannot be accepted for entries that are incomplete, illegible or not received. Proof of posting is not proof of receipt. No cash alternative is available and prizes are not transferable. Value of prizes is correct at time of going to press. 4. Winners will be notified by post within 14 days of closing date. 5. The Promoter’s decision on any aspect of the promotions is final and binding. No correspondence will be entered into. 6. The Promoter reserves the right to substitute a prize of equal or greater value should circumstances make this necessary. 7. Entry implies acceptance of rules. 8. The winner of the Star Letter prize of £50 in John Lewis vouchers is the sender of the best letter selected by RM magazine. 9. The winner of the crossword prize of £50 in John Lewis vouchers will be the first correct entry drawn out of the bag. 10. The Promoter is The Royal Marsden Hospital, 203 Fulham Road, London SW3 6JJ.

IN THE NEXT ISSUE RM brings you the latest hospital updates, research news, inspiring stories and exclusive interviews. The spring 2015 issue is coming soon…

taff Awards – 20 S years of service ● Latest research in cancer genetics ● Breast radiology news ●

FOR THE ROYAL MARSDEN Rachael Reeve – Director of Marketing and Communications Elaine Parr – Head of PR and Communications Naomi Owen – PR and Communications Manager Catherine O’Mara – Senior Press and PR Officer Claire Borgeat – Senior Press and PR Officer Kelly Smale – Press Officer FOR SUNDAY Lucy Ryan – Editor Marc Grainger – Deputy Editor Ian Dutnall – Art Director Bryony Bromfield – Senior Account Manager Matt Beaven – Creative Director Toby Smeeton – Managing Director RM magazine is published by The Royal Marsden in partnership with Sunday: sundaypublishing.com © The Royal Marsden 2014. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part is prohibited without prior permission of the Editor. The Royal Marsden and Sunday accept no responsibility for the views expressed by contributors to the magazine. Repro by F1 Colour. Printed by Pureprint.

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