Peritoneal oncology team
The peritoneal oncology team are our August 2021 You Made a Difference award winner. Judges picked them out as very deserving winners and said that the comments made about them showed how they represent The Christie principles and behaviours.
“The Christie Colorectal and Peritoneal Oncology Centre (CPOC) is a regional centre for advanced and recurrent colorectal cancer, pelvic malignancies, rare tumours (retroperitoneal sarcoma, neuroendocrine tumours, and anal cancer), and a tertiary national peritoneal tumour service treating patients with colorectal peritoneal metastases and appendix tumours with cytoreductive surgery and HIPEC. The whole team consists of 9 consultant surgeons, 5 clinical nurse specialists (CNS), 5 clinical fellows, 6 surgical secretaries, 1 support secretary, 1 data manager and service manager/deputy service manager and support/service managers.
“During the last 18 months (through the first 3 waves of the COVID-19 pandemic), the CPOC team has been providing complex surgery to this patient group in a very challenging environment with no COVID-related mortality or morbidity.
“At the start of the pandemic, this meant creating a bio-secure environment for unvaccinated patients to have their surgery and operating in full PPE with 2 consultants per case in very difficult conditions. New pathways for COVID testing and isolation had to be developed and explained to patients. It also meant developing new protocols for HIPEC so that it could be delivered through a closed technique without aerosolisation. We had to stop operating at The Christie for 3 days so that this could be out in place.
“In addition to this, the team has treated 70 additional high-risk colorectal cancer patients referred to The Christie from the GM Cancer Hub to support patients in the Greater Manchester region when there were no green critical beds available in GM. This required taking on additional operating lists and sessions. Acting with agility during a rapidly evolving pandemic, addressing patient fears, and doing so with compassion has required a huge effort from every member of the team including secretaries, clinical nurse specialists, managers, fellows, and surgeons.
“Omer Aziz (consultant surgeon and clinical lead for the CPOC peritoneal tumour service) ran the London Marathon this year for The Christie charity in October 2021, raising over £7,000.
“Favourite hobbies of the consultants include travel, reading, watching Manchester United, weightlifting, and barbershop singing.
“In their spare time Bex, Amanda, Rachel, Amanda and Faizah from the CNS/CNS admin team enjoy going to the gym, walking their dogs, entertaining, reading, yoga, cycling, running, baking, crocheting/amigurumi, fine art painting, badminton, and rock climbing.
“The secretarial team relax and unwind out of work with horse riding, reading, listening to northern soul music, travel, art, watching films, baking, and woodwork.”
- Sharon Wroe, peritoneal tumour service manager
“I wish to express my gratitude for the superb care I received from Mr Aziz and the entire staff of the peritoneal oncology centre during my recent treatment at The Christie.
“From my initial consultation, Mr Aziz was able to calm my fears as I knew I was in the hands of not only an expert in his field but also a very caring surgeon. He answered every question (of which I had many) with clear explanations and patience and showed great empathy in understanding what was important to me in terms of treatment outcomes. He planned my treatment programme, and, despite all the logistical problems caused by the COVID-19 pandemic that plan worked perfectly.
“My operation was performed speedily with Mr Aziz there on the Friday morning for a final reassuring chat before I went into theatre, and he contacted my partner once the operation had been successfully completed. Despite it being a weekend, Mr Aziz was on the ward early on both Saturday and Sunday checking on my recovery. My post-surgery outpatient’s appointment done by a video call worked well, and again all my questions were answered in full. I am certain that Mr Aziz’s skill, and calm manner gave me a positive mindset leading to a speedier recovery.
“Also, I met many members of staff during my Christie journey all of which contributed to my recovery in some way, but the following named stand out:
“I appreciate that there are many more members of the peritoneal oncology centre team whose names I will never know, but each of whom played their part in helping me. I am thinking in particular of your radiologists who reviewed the scans done at my local hospital, the pathologists who analysed my tumour, and, to the Manchester Cancer Research Centre biobank staff who will study the sample I provided as part of an ongoing research programme.
- Angela White, secretary to Mr Aziz – who dealt with the logistics of my travel arrangements at short notice, and all the administrative issues associated with my case so efficiently, and, with good humour.
- Amanda Coop, peritoneal oncology clinical nurse specialist – who dealt with the arrangements for COVID-19 testing etc., again at short notice. When checking on my recovery at home, she answered my many questions fully and gave me time to discuss my concerns. She boosted my confidence to press on with my recovery programme. Both Angela and Amanda went, “above and beyond “for me, and were truly concerned about my wellbeing.
- Chloe, enhanced recovery nurse – such a capable nurse who made me feel special as a “person” not just a “patient”.
- Julie Minshull, senior nurse, dayshift surgical oncology ward – a skilled nurse who seemed to sense when patients needed a listening ear. She always made time to listen and calm a patient’s fears despite the pressure of a busy ward.
- Carlo, nurse, day shift, surgical oncology ward – for his fantastic work ethic on the ward, and unfailing cheerfulness which boosted patients’ spirits.
- Night shift sister, surgical oncology ward – for her understanding and practical support when I was having a difficult night.
- Gloria, orderly on night shift, surgical oncology ward – who despite a very busy shift made time to make me a cup of tea when I really needed it.
“I would also like to mention the taxi company (whose name escapes me) booked by Angela White to take me from the station to the hospital/hotel. The controller and both drivers were efficient, polite, and their service and time keeping were faultless. Finally, before surgery I found the relaxation recordings on the hospital website very useful, and indeed used the techniques demonstrated there on several occasions before my surgery.
“My partner and I will be forever grateful for the skill, expertise and caring of Mr Aziz and the peritoneal oncology centre team. I am delighted to say I have made an excellent recovery from my operation and have recently had a family reunion to celebrate. We are now planning a “staycation”, and hopefully will be travelling further afield when COVID-19 restrictions allow.
“I will be contacting your fundraising team to see if there are ways in which I can assist the work of The Christie in the future. I found The Christie to be an exceptional hospital delivering world class treatment whilst giving each patient hope, and always treating them as an individual with their own specific needs.
“Please pass on my heartfelt thanks to Mr Aziz and the entire peritoneal oncology centre team. We will always remember and be thankful for all they have done for us.”
- Wendy Shepherd, patient
Has a staff member, team or volunteer at The Christie gone above and beyond in their work? You can nominate them for the monthly You Made a Difference Award.