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Being an NHS x AN adoptee - Victoria's story

May 22, 2023
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Anthony Nolan supports healthcare professionals’ development through the NHS Adoption Programme. It’s an opportunity for everyone working with stem cell transplant patients to receive funding to help them deepen their knowledge and join a supportive peer network.

Victoria Mace is a dietitian at St Bartholomew's Hospital, and her role was adopted by Anthony Nolan in 2021, early in her career in Haematology and Oncology. Being connected to Anthony Nolan has given Victoria the chance to meet dietitians at other hospitals, spend time shadowing and learning from them, and also reach out to them for advice on complex patients.

  • Could you tell us a bit about how being part of the Anthony Nolan Adoption Programme was beneficial for you?

I have had so many networking opportunities as part of the adoption programme. I have linked up with and shadowed the Haem dietitian at Kings, and being able to benchmarked our service against theirs. It has highlighted our need for an outpatient service for follow up of Hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT) patients which we don’t currently have. This is because these patients have very specific needs, which could come from a specialist Haematology dietitian, and they often don’t meet the criteria for community dietitian.

  • What do you enjoy most about working with SCT patients?

Supporting them through this time, which can be incredibly tough.As a therapist, I can sometimes spend more time with them than a lot of the doctors and nurses can. And as a specialist, I often have more knowledge of how the HSCT may play out in terms of symptoms. I can have a good supportive relationship with my patients, because I can give them the time, and they’re reassured by my knowledge. 

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

I was lucky enough to attend a course which took my communication skills to a higher level as a clinician. The result was improved engagement with patients and medical colleagues, which has in turn improved patients’ outcome and experience.

I’m also kept in the loop with what Anthony Nolan offer so I can update my patients about resources available on the website, transplant tracker apps, and financial grants available to them. Patients feel I am well informed in the Haemonc community.

  • How have you found being adopted by Anthony Nolan as part of the NHS Adoption Programme?

Anthony Nolan has been incredibly supportive to me. As an adoptee, AN have invested in my training, supporting me to attend courses which will enhance my clinical skills as a dietitian.

 I also love attending AN meetings and events with other health care professionals involved in Haematology. It’s always inspiring to mix with people who are working in other areas or are very experienced.

And little things like giving Christmas cards to my patients is very kind. It feels good to be part of an organisation that goes the extra mile.

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

Go for it – it’s great to be supported by Anthony Nolan, as it makes me aware of the support available for patients, as well as opening the door for me to increase my knowledge of the specialty, and my counselling skills.

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

For more information, contact us at Lead.Nurse@AnthonyNolan.org.