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Being an NHS x AN adoptee - Katy's story

Katy Lawson, Clinical Educator, Manchester Children's Hospital
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Anthony Nolan supports healthcare professionals’ development through the NHS Adoption Programme. It’s an opportunity for all healthcare professionals working with stem cell transplant patients to receive funding to help improve your knowledge, and join a supportive peer network.

Katy Lawson is a Clinical Educator at Manchester Children’s Hospital, and her role was adopted by Anthony Nolan in 2021. She began her career as a nurse for the Haematology and Oncology inpatients department. When her rotation on the Bone Marrow Unit ended, she loved it so much she asked if she could stay.

Katy heard about the Adoption Programme through colleagues, after speaking to the team at Anthony Nolan decided it was an exciting opportunity not to be missed. 

  • What’s the biggest impact being part of the NHS Adoption Programme has had for you?

The education and training I’ve received or have been made aware of so I can pass on the opportunities or colleagues has made a huge difference. I’ve utilised these sessions while I’ve been practicing too, so what I’ve learnt has had a direct impact on my patients and their level of care.

  • How have your patients benefited from your role being adopted?

I’ve introduced information leaflets and posters I learnt about in the induction stage of my adoption – they detail services patients can as inpatients. I put some posters up in the parent’s room, which has been well received. I also discussed and developed a mini pack with information about what to expect during a transplant for parents and patients, alongside our transplant co-ordinators. And now, this is being used for all new patients. We also give out a mini hand size pull outs so that patients can take the information away with them and use that whenever they need to.

Having accessible, easy to understand information has made all the difference to patients and it’s great to see the impact of the training sessions I attended.

  • How has this programme helped those you work with?

Since I’ve been part of the adoption programme, I’ve created a new face-to-face Education Day with all new starters on the unit. It’s a great learning opportunity and goes through a number of aspects about what to expect post-transplant. This includes complications, recognising deteriorating patients, research developments, pain assessments and end of life care. It also covers the support that Anthony Nolan can give our staff, parents, and patients.

I've also started training staff up on administering AIRVO on patients on the Bone Marrow Unit and I’m looking to create a research paper in the coming years to how reduction of PICU admissions due to being able to administer this on the unit. 

  • Is there anything you were hoping to experience while being adopted that you haven’t yet?

Covid-19 put a bit of a dampener on being able to connect with other professionals around the country. I was hoping for some more interaction between the adoptees - more regular catch ups and meetings say. But with the pandemicCovid-19, I am very aware the pressure on staffing levels over the last six months have been massive! I’m looking forward to It would be nice to catching up and see where people are up to after we met last year.

  • What would you say to anyone thinking of joining the programme?

I would say it’s a great learning opportunity for all staff, to learn about all the different support frameworks available for staff, patients, and families. The programme is essentially a network of staff across the UK and shows how services can change and improve with support from Anthony Nolan. 

This year’s programme is now open.
Find out more and apply for the programme.

For more information, contact us at


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Bone marrow transplant Clinical nurse specialist Healthcare professional NHS Stem cell