Inspiring afternoon at Ladies Lunch
May 24th 2013
I met some truly inspiring women at yesterday's
Ladies Lunch which was raising money for our new mobile
chemotherapy unit, in partnership with BBC Radio Manchester.
Held at the Mere Resort, it was fantastic to see so many old
friends, new supporters and former patients who fundraise so
generously for our charity, united for our cause.
From the current Royal harpist Hannah Stone, who played
beautifully throughout our meal, to BBC North West Tonight anchor
woman Annabel Tiffin who co-hosted the event, to Nicky
Hambleton-Jones who, despite giving birth just weeks ago, looked
radiant. Stylist Nicky makes it her business to help women
nationwide look and feel fabulous - and gave tips on certain
colours to wear that make you feel better.
But taking centre stage on the famous red 'BBC sofa' - which had
been kindly loaned to us for the day - and perhaps stealing the
show, was one of our patients Faye Macrory.
Faye shared her story about her cancer diagnosis, her thoughts
and feelings throughout treatment and the different tools she uses
to feel better - such as an array of beautiful, brightly coloured
wigs, a dash of red lipstick and a super supportive sister. I was
in admiration of Faye's positivity and I know many of the audience
will share that sentiment.
I also want to pay tribute to Annabel's marvellous co-host, the
wonderful Bill Turnbull from BBC Breakfast. He certainly charmed
the audience - my mum has always been a huge fan of his - and now
so I am!
Rounding off the event was a magnificent performance from Blake
who brought the house down with their final rendition of Nessun
Dorma. Thanks again to everyone who attended for your support. Your
generosity will help countless cancer patients get their
chemotherapy treatment closer to home
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International Clinical Trials Day
May 20th 2013
Awareness days, weeks and months are important
tools to reinforce key messages and draw attention to certain
As Chief Executive at one of the largest cancer centres in
Europe, which is also an international leader in research, today's
significant 'day' resonated with me more than ever.
Today (Monday 20th May) is International Clinical Trials day
which commemorates the anniversary of the first clinical trial by
James Lind in 1747.
At The Christie, we have been delivering world-first
breakthroughs for over 100 years and our clinical trials unit has
around 400 trials going on at any time, making it the largest early
phase trials unit in the world.
Clinical trials offer important opportunities for patients to
access the most innovative treatments for cancer and improve
outcomes. Put simply, clinical trials are an essential part of
developing the cancer treatments of the future.
Ground-breaking research projects are taking place every day at
The Christie and it's fantastic to think major advances in new
treatments and technologies are happening right now.
With the opening of the Manchester Cancer Research Centre next
year, bringing together world-class research into cancer biology,
drug discovery and clinical trials on one site, crucial
breakthroughs taking place right here could potentially benefit
patients locally, nationally and internationally.
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NHS Equality, Diversity and Human Rights Week 2013
May 14th 2013
This week (May 13th - 17th) is the annual NHS
Equality, Diversity and Human Rights Week and I believe that it's
important for us to celebrate this work.
Here at The Christie our staff champion equality and diversity
every day and we are proud to deliver services that are personal
for each individual patient. Our results also reflect that. We
recently received one of the top scores nationally for treating our
patients with dignity and respect in the Care Quality Commission's
Dignity, respect and fairness are key in any workplace which is
why we have also included these sentiments in The Christie
Commitment - our principles and behaviours which all staff adhere
As you know, I also like to lead by example and have signed up
to be a 'Personal, Fair and Diverse Champion'. Launched in
2011, the campaign seeks to create a vibrant network of champions
who are committed to taking some action, no matter how small, to
help create a more personal, fair and diverse NHS. This might be
respecting individual differences, ensuring everyone is treated
fairly, finding out more about different cultures to support our
patients as well as sharing equality learning and good
I'd be delighted to see many more 'champions' sign up this week
to support our staff - so who will join me?
It's right that we celebrate weeks such as this - but at The
Christie we work hard all year round to ensure we continue to meet
the needs of all our patients and that we are an organisation where
staff from all backgrounds want to come to work.
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May 13th 2013
Yesterday (Sunday 12th May) was Nurses
Day - a day when people remember the enormous contribution nurses
play in our society and the importance of their roles within
As a nurse myself I know that nursing is one of the most
rewarding professions you can be in and I would like to pay tribute
to our dedicated team of 500 nurses at The Christie.
Our nurses work tirelessly every day to ensure safe, high
quality patient care for more than 40,000 cancer patients a year.
To us nurses, this is not just a 'job'. For us it's more than that.
Our role is to look after both patients and their relatives, and if
we know at the end of every shift that we've done our very best to
help patients when they need it most - then we've done our job
It can also be an incredibly difficult job - I know that too.
But I'm so proud of our caring and compassionate nurses and the
vital part they play at The Christie. Every one of you helps makes
The Christie the very special place it is.
Thank you for everything you do for our patients.
***At The Christie, on Monday 13th May all staff, patients and
relatives will be invited to leave a comment on a 'talking wall' to
show their support for our nurses. The wall will be located in our
Oak Road reception opposite Starbucks between 10.00am and
The two headings will be:
- I am proud to be a Christie nurse because….
- I am proud to support Christie nurses because….
Please show your support by visiting the 'talking wall' and
leaving a message.
All nursing staff are encouraged to wear their uniform on the
day to promote the profession and demonstrate the variety of
nursing roles here at The Christie.
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Time for a spring clean
May 3rd 2013
Well it finally feels like spring is here - and summer is most
definitely round the corner. As the first bank holiday of this
month arrives, it seems the weather is being kind to us once more
and families up and down the country will be looking forward to
getting outside and spending time together.
It's also time for me to start my annual spring clean at home, a
little later than usual, but there's something quite therapeutic in
cleaning out cupboards, sorting through drawers and generally
having a good clear out. Especially when you've two children who
seem to be remarkably good at hoarding things, so I can't imagine
what may be lurking under either of their beds!
Thank you also to those members of staff who will be working as
normal this bank holiday to provide care for our inpatients. As a
busy hospital, our work doesn't stop - come rain or shine our
dedicated teams continue to provide the first class Christie
experience to cancer patients. Every single member of staff makes
up The Christie team and I'm so proud to play my part in such a
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Long Service Awards
April 26th 2013
Caroline Shaw & Chris Steele.
On Tuesday, we held our Long Service Awards. This was a
tremendous event organised to celebrate our committed volunteers
and staff members, some of whom have been working with us at The
Christie for 10, 20, and 30 years. It really is remarkable and
makes us very proud.
Amongst our winners are Christine O'Brien Williams, who
collected a 30 Years' Service certificate and Joanne Fitzpatrick,
executive director of finance & business development, who has
been with us for 20 years. Christine joined us in 1982 as a
Radiotherapy student, then went on to work in chemotherapy and was
part of the team managing the first clinical trials here for breast
and colon cancer. Christine is now an experienced senior sister who
is highly valued member of our team.
Joanne came from Tameside in 1992 as a management accountant;
she was then promoted to the Deputy Director of Finance in 2001 and
has since won the Deputy Director of the year award in 2011. I am
thrilled that Joanne has recently taken up the role of executive
director of finance & business development that demonstrates
you can successfully progress throughout The Christie.
It was also our honour to welcome, Dr Chris Steele as guest
host. Chris is a very generous supporter of our Trust and Charity
and has attended a number of our
events over the years. I would like to say thank you to Chris from
everyone who attended the awards - you really made our event very
Thank you everyone who attended for your hard work and long
standing commitment. It's a tribute to the way we work at The
Christie, that our staff are so dedicated - we are more like a
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Proud to see The Christie on BBC2 tonight
April 23rd 2013
If, like me, you've been watching the new BBC2
documentary series Keeping Britain Alive: The NHS in a Day you'll
have been inspired by the breadth of work covered and people
From neuro-surgery to a GP in the remote Scottish highlands
looking after his own A&E department - Keeping Britain Alive
showcases the remarkable variety of activity undertaken in a day by
Tonight, it's our turn, capturing the usual activity in our
chemotherapy unit. Doctors, nurses, healthcare assistants,
receptionists, cleaners, catering staff - all going about their
Huge thanks to everyone who contributed on the day - and most of
all, a big thank you to our patients who were happy to let cameras
follow them for the day and share their experiences.
I will certainly be tuning in - and I hope you will too.
Keeping Britain Alive: The NHS in a Day is on BBC2 at
9.00pm tonight (Tuesday 23rd April).
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Results that improve year on year don’t happen by chance
April 16th 2013
Today (Tuesday 16th April) we received
another stamp of approval from our patients, as the results of the
annual inpatient survey were announced.
I'm delighted to say we have performed even better than last
year. Being in hospital is a difficult time for anyone - especially
when you're being treated for cancer - and it is imperative in our
job that we make that time as comfortable as possible. This is why
I'm so pleased that we have scored top marks in a number of areas
including patients being treated with dignity and respect whilst at
The Christie and the cleanliness of our hospitals rooms and
Patients also praised the communication from our doctors and
nurses. Getting answers to important questions that you can
understand is vital when you are perhaps feeling vulnerable or
fragile. We were also among the top performing trusts for
explanations about how patients' operations or procedures had gone,
as well as how they would feel afterwards.
Our staff also scored top marks when it came to not talking in
front of patients as if they weren't there and doing everything to
help control patients' pain. These are just glimpses into how we
operate every day and huge thanks to all our staff who continue to
work so hard to make sure we always give our patients the best
To get such positive and direct feedback from our patients is
fantastic and reinforces my drive and determination to make sure we
continue to deliver the highest quality care.
Results that improve year on year don't happen by chance. We
already carry out monthly patient satisfaction surveys across the
trust and with the introduction of the NHS Friends and Family Test,
we will continue to use this feedback to directly improve our
To read the full report visit http://www.cqc.org.uk/survey/inpatient/RBV
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Time For Change
April 12th 2013
We're only a couple of weeks into April and
there's a lot of change going on - both within the NHS and at The
Christie. From 1st April, the government's NHS reforms came into
force. All remaining NHS trusts are expected to become foundation
trusts by April 2014 and Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) will
commission the majority of health services. It will be very
interesting to see how this reorganisation will work and how the
different organisations involved embrace this change.
We achieved Foundation Trust status in 2007 and found the
immense benefit and ability to make our services better for our
patients. We look forward to advancing with our ambitious plans and
working with the National Commissioning Boards (NCBs) and CCGs.
Change is also happening locally at The Christie. We have
welcomed our new medical director, Dr Anthony Blower and our new
Executive Director of Business & Finance Development, Joanne
Fitzpatrick. Both are key appointments who bring with them a wealth
of experience and expertise. Every change we make internally and
those within the NHS will help us shape our future to help us
achieve our 2020 Vision. It certainly feels like spring is here - a
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March 28th 2013
With Good Friday nearly here and Easter around the
corner, I get excited about this time of year. Spring time
represents joy, hope, renewal and rebirth. It is a time when we can
(whatever our religious views) be encouraged to celebrate optimism,
growth and hope.
I know my children get excited about Easter, of course for the
chocolate eggs that the 'Easter Bunny' delivers but also for the
time as a family we can spend together. I expect it's the same for
many families however, I'm sure, it is also a time to reflect and
make plans for times to come.
I meet many people through my work who have been affected by
cancer and it's at times like this that I think of them. I hope
that at this time of year they are able to renew their tremendous
courage and nurture themselves and spend time with their
Of course, I will enjoy having my chocolate egg but I will be
thinking about what Easter represents and the positive new
beginning it can symbolise for many.
Happy Easter everyone.
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