Nurse from Bramhall appointed operational lead for The Christie at Macclesfield

A nurse from Bramhall with more than 20 years’ experience has been appointed to a key role at the new Christie at Macclesfield cancer centre.

Catherine Fensom (46) will take up the position of operational lead for The Christie at Macclesfield on 4 October.

The new role will involve ensuring that all the clinics run smoothly and working with the radiotherapy and chemotherapy teams to ensure that patients don’t have to wait long to be seen. Catherine will also play a key role in supporting existing patients and staff to make a smooth transition from the current cancer unit at Macclesfield into the new Christie cancer centre.

Speaking about her new role Catherine said: “I am passionate about providing treatment closer to home for patients and I am humbled that I have been chosen as the operational lead to build on and improve cancer services in Macclesfield through The Christie at Macclesfield.
“This new unit will have an enormous impact on the local community providing state of the art treatment on their doorstep. Having worked for both The Christie and East Cheshire Hospital Trust, I feel that I can bring a unique perspective to the role that will aid the integration of the existing chemotherapy service with the new radiotherapy service and other services.
“We are so lucky to have The Christie as our specialist centre, it provides treatments and trials that are only available in a handful of hospitals. Patients can be confident that they are receiving the best treatments available in cancer care.”

Catherine chose nursing as a career because she wanted to make a difference for patients. “Providing quality care and a quality service has always been central to what I do as a nurse,” she said.

Both of Catherine’s parents have been treated for cancer. Her mum, Vivienne had treatment nearly 40 years ago and her dad, Alan has had several treatments over the years for different cancers, most recently last year. “Having supported mum and dad through their cancers I know first-hand what amazing treatment is available and the difference it makes to patients and their families,” said Catherine.

Qualifying as a nurse in 1997 and following a short stint working in Australia, Catherine started in cancer services at Macclesfield District General Hospital in 2003. Through this role, she became involved with The Christie’s outreach chemotherapy work within the cancer centre at Macclesfield.

“I realised how important it was for cancer patients to have treatment closer to home,” said Catherine. “I decided I wanted to work for the outreach chemotherapy team at The Christie and joined that team in 2008. During my time in that role, I was involved in setting up a mobile chemotherapy unit for The Christie, which is still in operation today.” 

Catherine returned to East Cheshire Hospital Trust in 2013 as a matron in oncology/lead cancer nurse. In this role, she worked with the cancer teams at Macclesfield and The Christie to increase the amount of chemotherapy given locally.

Interim divisional manager for network services at The Christie, Jackie Wrench said: “We welcome Catherine as operational lead at our new Christie at Macclesfield site. Catherine will be a great asset to the team having worked at both Macclesfield and The Christie over the last few years. Her wide knowledge of services at both sites will get us off to a great start in terms of setting up the services prior to opening and managing our outpatient department once the unit is open. I am very much looking forward to working with Catherine on this very exciting project.”

The Christie at Macclesfield, which will open in December 2021, will transform cancer care, providing care closer to home for more than 1,500 patients a year. The new centre will provide a range of holistic services including radiotherapy, chemotherapy and a wider range of clinical trials than at present. It will provide 46,000 patient appointments and visits each year.

The Christie charity needs to raise £23m towards the £26m cost of the new centre. To support The Christie at Macclesfield, visit our The Christie at Macclesfield campaign page or call our team on 0161 446 3988.

To support the fundraising for The Christie at Macclesfield, Catherine completed the Walk of Hope on 18 September in Tatton Park. Around £52,000 is expected to be raised from this event towards the cost of The Christie at Macclesfield.

The Christie charity supports the work of The Christie NHS Foundation Trust providing enhanced services over and above what the NHS funds. This includes money for care and treatment, research, education and extra patient services. Gifts from the public make a huge difference to the care and treatment that The Christie is able to provide to patients and their families.

The Christie NHS Foundation Trust was the first specialist trust to be rated as ‘Outstanding’ twice (in 2016 and 2018) by the health regulator the Care Quality Commission (CQC). It referred to The Christie as ‘a leader in cancer care’ and ‘a pioneer in developing innovative solutions to cancer care.’ The CQC praised the Trust’s staff which it said ‘go the extra mile to meet the needs of patients and their families’ and that they were ‘exceptionally kind and caring.’ In 2017, the CQC rated The Christie as the best specialist trust in the country, and one of the top three trusts overall in England. 

Last updated: October 2021