When cancer services across the country were suspended during the first waves of the COVID-19 pandemic, our Trust stood out from the rest as they faced the challenge head on and continued to provide safe and timely care for those in urgent need of treatment.
And today, STHK has been recognised for our innovation and determination to provide cancer services to not only our own patients, but to all those most in need across the region.
Receiving the Excellence in Healthcare Award at the NHS Parliamentary Awards today, our Trust were the standout winners to be recognised for their commitment to patients.
The Trust worked quickly to provide a coordinated response to the delivery of urgent cancer surgery. Anticipating the need to ensure continuity of these vital services at the very start of the pandemic, they established the Surgical Cancer Hub at St Helens Hospital to prevent delays to treatment for current and future patients.
Working together to implement such an effective response to new challenges, the hub consisted of many different teams and departments, including:
- Cancer Services
- Sanderson Suite
- Urology, General Surgery and Plastics
- Surgical / Clinical Nurse Specialists
- Pain Team
- Transfusion services
Between May 2020 and July 2021, the Surgical Cancer Hub received hundreds of referrals for urgent cancer treatment throughout the first three waves of the pandemic, for patients across the northwest. For these patients, it was critical that they received timely intervention. Had the Hub not been in place, due to the suspension of services, there would have been catastrophic delays to their treatment.
The Surgical Cancer Hub was then to develop into the first reporting Community Diagnostic Centre (CDC) in the country, and since July 2021, St Helens CDC’s activity has reached over 12,500 individuals across a range of diagnostic interventions.
Divisional Medical Director, John McCabe, was among the representatives accepting the award on behalf of the team and the Trust, he said: “To receive the national award is quite simply amazing.”
“As a Trust we have been committed to ensuring that any patient requiring urgent cancer diagnosis and treatment continued to be seen in the safest and quickest way possible. Not only have we risen to every challenge and prioritised preventing delays to patient care, but thanks to the dedication of our teams, we’ve also been able to maintain excellent standards and improve outcomes in such difficult circumstances.”
Amanda Pritchard, Chief Executive of the NHS, said: “The NHS is nothing without the people who work in and alongside it, and the NHS Parliamentary Awards today were a brilliant opportunity to recognise the outstanding contribution they make across the country.
“It was fantastic to hear about the inspiring work, dedication and innovation of the health and care workers nominated across so many sectors.”