Top award for Theresa for her unwavering commitment to supporting people living with cancer
5th December 2023
An Advanced Nurse Practitioner in the Southern Health and Social Care Trust has won an award in the Macmillan Professionals Excellence Awards.
Theresa Clarke won the Quality Improvement Excellence Award for making improvements and identifying new initiatives within the Trust, which are paving the way for best practice in cancer care.
Theresa was recognised for her project which has helped to normalise conversations around sexual health following a cancer diagnosis.
Theresa said that all she wanted to improve the care she and others within her team provide and to receive an award for doing that is amazing.
“Not everyone with cancer will have or notice changes that affect their sex life but cancer can impact on their sexual wellbeing. The subject remains a taboo topic of conversation between patients and clinicians, often as a result of cultural beliefs, a lack of specialised training and feelings of personal embarrassment, and this is something I wanted to change.”
As part of her project, Theresa assembled two focus groups and developed initiatives which have subsequently been put in place, including specialised training and education for healthcare professionals.
“This project wouldn’t have been a success without the support from my nursing colleagues in cancer services. Their compassion certainly helped to drive this project forward.
‘I am delighted that it is making a difference and that patients have the information they need and staff are able to initiate those important conversations,’ says Theresa.
The judges felt this was “a valuable piece of work, increasing awareness around sexual wellbeing and helping remove the taboo around the topic”.
Fiona Reddick, Head of Cancer Services, said:
“Theresa’s project has made such a difference not only for our patients but also for her colleagues, who can now access a range of services at the touch of a button.
“Theresa is a passionate individual who carries out her work to the highest level and standard, and she has made a huge difference for patients in the Southern Trust. Well done Theresa.”
The awards honours the very best achievements, values and contributions of Macmillan Professionals and highlights healthcare professionals who all continue to work tirelessly to support and care for people living with cancer.