The UKONS Board is made up of executive officers, members, co-opted members and prospective members.
The Board meet at face-to-face meetings four times and year and have regular telephone meetings throughout the year.
Each year the Board has at least one major work plan to deliver, as well as the UKONS annual conference to plan and organise with our Secretariat, Succinct Medical Communications.
Helen has been a UKONS Board member for a number of years and key leader of the Chemotherapy / Systemic Anti-Cancer Treatment (SACT) Members Interest Group (MIG) until recently. Day-to-day Helen is employed as Consultant Cancer Nurse by North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust, which is part of the Northern Cancer Alliance. Helen is also a Consultant Editor for the British Journal of Nursing Oncology supplement.
Helen has worked in adult cancer care for most of her career and continues to provide a role, which enables her to remain very clinical, yet also be active in both research, service developments and educating others. She has developed a wealth of skills, knowledge and expertise in patient care, leadership and service development, all of which influence her day to day practice and ultimately the patient care she provides.
Her specialist area of clinical expertise is the management of patients with breast cancer. This involves assessing patients; managing symptoms and treatment toxicities, prescribing, requesting radiological investigations, developing and leading services i.e. homecare service, requesting Oncotype DX testing and ensuring patients are offered the opportunities to take part in research. She has presented at many conferences, from local to international; published extensively on an array of topics; developed on-line education modules and delivers national extravasation training events.
Chemotherapy Nurse Consultant, Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, London
Dr Catherine Oakley has worked in cancer care for over 20 years as a clinical nurse specialist, lead cancer nurse and in general management. She has developed strategies for cancer patient involvement and health promotion.
Her main area of interest is Systemic Anti-Cancer Therapy (SACT), in particular, home support, symptom reporting and oral SACT (the topic of her research for her Masters degree). After developing a generic patient oral SACT diary, Catherine and her colleague Jo Johnson were awarded the 2008 European Oncology Nursing Society prize for excellence in patient education materials and the 2009 Nursing Standard award for best practice in medication administration. Catherine has been an investigator and provided advice on national projects, including a review of cancer inpatient admissions, the National Confidential Enquiry into Patient Outcome and Death within 30 days of systemic anticancer therapy, the Rapid Response Report on risks of incorrect dosing of oral anti-cancer medicines (2008) and the NICE Neutropenic Sepsis Guidelines (2012). She was more recently a member of the Cancer Taskforce that developed the National Cancer Strategy. Catherine’s NIHR funded PhD conducted through Kings College London University, explored why patients’ delay presenting with neutropenic sepsis.
Since 2006, Sandra has been employed in NHS Forth Valley as a Macmillan Nurse Consultant in Cancer and Palliative Care. Her remit covers acute and primary care and involves engagement on a strategic level with partners in local authorities and voluntary agencies. She has a particular interest in how patients and carers live with and beyond a diagnosis of cancer and the impact of that diagnosis on the whole family as well as a particular interest in the provision of end of life care. Her passion lies with how UKONS supports staff to deliver the best care possible and she holds the belief that good communication is absolutely fundamental to all nursing, leading on communication training locally.
Nurses are in an ideal position to ensure the best care and communication possible for patients and those close to them. Education for cancer nurses and those caring for patients with cancer is essential to facilitate this. UKONS is an excellent example of how nurses can be provided with the information and knowledge they require to influence effective change. Sandra has been impressed with initiatives through UKONS and how these have improved care. The latest initiative, Consequences of Cancer Treatment will help take forward the whole survivorship agenda and she would welcome the opportunity to support this process. Another challenge is enhancing the value of specialist palliative care along the cancer pathway. Since April this year Sandra has been National Clinical Lead for Palliative and End of Life Care in Scotland.
With Sandra’s joint responsibility, she can bring a different perspective to the Board.
Jane is the Deputy Nurse Director/ Lead Cancer Nurse at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust . She has worked in cancer care for over eleven years and is passionate about providing the best services possible for patients and their families.
Her key areas of interest are ensuring that nurses are skilled and confident to deliver high quality care, developing innovative new services focused on the needs of patients and their carers and developing the leadership potential of all nurses within cancer care.
Dr Verna Lavender is a registered nurse and scientist. She is Senior Lecturer in Cancer Care, Cancer Nurse Researcher and Oxford Clinical Academic Fellow. Since qualifying as a nurse in 1987, Verna has worked in a variety of health service settings, including acute and primary care, cancer care education and training, and service improvement and research. She is passionate about cancer nursing research to improve outcomes of people with cancer and has won the Royal College of Nursing International Excellence in Cancer Research award in 2016. Her current research focuses on nursing people receiving systemic anti-cancer treatments and models of nursing care, particularly in cancer clinical trials. Verna is a member of several cancer nursing societies and has worked with cancer charities throughout her career.
Wendy is a Macmillan Nurse Consultant at a large cancer centre in the North East of England. She has worked in cancer care in particular Systemic Anticancer Therapy (SACT) for over twenty years and is passionate about providing the best services possible for patients and their families. Her key areas of interest are ensuring that nurses are skilled and confident to deliver chemotherapy and supportive interventions based upon good evidence, developing nurse led services which are focused on the needs of patients and their carers and developing the leadership potential of all nurses within cancer care.
Wendy is also Chair of the UKONS SACT MIG (Members' Interest Group).
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