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Palliative care nurse benefits patients

23 May 2011

Palliative care patients and their families in Jersey are to benefit from the services offered by an experienced palliative care specialist nurse.

The post is funded by Macmillan Cancer Support Jersey, the cancer charity, and the post holder is Angela Bradshaw, who came to Jersey from a post at NHS Ayrshire & Arran in early April.

Funding for the post has been made available for 3 years from money raised by Macmillan in Jersey, formerly known as Cancerbackup, together with a donation from RBS International.

Any money raised in Jersey by Macmillan Cancer Support Jersey will still remain in the Island for the benefit of cancer patients in Jersey, as before the merger.

Angela is based at the General Hospital, but will work with palliative care patients who are in-patients who have a chronic long term health problem, such as cancer, COPD, heart or renal failure, whose condition / prognosis is going to be managed in a non curative manner, across Health and Social Services. Angela will also work with other health professionals and organisations about education on palliative care, and help make them aware of the latest guidance, research and evidence based practice into palliative care.

"Palliative care begins from the point of diagnosis for those with long-term conditions, and encompasses end of life care, and bereavement follow-up" said Angela, explaining the role.

Nursing career

She has a background of working in hospices, community and acute care with patients and carers, and has previously worked for Macmillan in the UK, as well as for the British Heart Foundation, and Marie Curie Cancer Care.

Angela began nursing in her mid twenties in 1993, firstly as an orthopaedic nurse, and then moved into hospice care and community nursing, which also involved qualifying as a district nursing sister. She then moved into a specialist palliative care nurse role, as an independent practitioner, firstly for 5 years with Macmillan in rural Argyll in Scotland and then for British Heart Foundation for 3 years. She is educated to post graduate level in cancer and palliative care, is an independent extended nurse prescriber and been involved at a local, regional and national level in Scotland regarding both generalist and specialist palliative care.

"It is a job I love, and I feel it is a privilege for people to let you into their lives at this poignant time in their life" she said. "I want to be able to offer patients and their carers a holistic assessment, so we look at their whole patient journey. I am very pleased to be taking up this post in Jersey, and look forward to working with colleagues to offer patients and their families choice of  care, help and advice they want to have" she said.

Barbara Selvon, the head of ambulatory care at HSSD added "The appointment of Angela Bradshaw to the post of Macmillan Palliative Care Specialist is the successful culmination of a lot of hard work. This has enabled us to meet the long desired need for patients and their families who have a long term condition with a palliative and supportive care prognosis, to be supported as they learn to live with the knowledge of their life limiting disease. Angela comes with an excellent array of qualifications and experience and will add to the otherwise excellent care provided by a number of agencies."

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