We've introduced our second ever post-transplant specialist nurse, who is based at the Northern Centre for Cancer Care, at the Newcastle Hospitals’ Freeman Hospital. This is the first post of its kind outside of London.
Susan Paskar, 38, has been employed in a post funded by Anthony Nolan to support patients with blood cancers and blood disorders who have had bone marrow or stem cell transplants.
Photo credit: Tony Griffiths
She will be their dedicated point of contact at the hospital once they have been allowed to go home following their transplant and will be able to offer specialist support and advice.
She will also be able to refer them to other services, such as dieticians, and to help them overcome any physical and psychological difficulties they experience after their transplant.
Giving patients the best possible quality of life
Susan, who lives in Newcastle and has worked with bone marrow transplant patients at the Freeman Hospital for four years, said: “I was very happy to take up this position as I saw that there was a need for more follow up for patients – they get a lot of support early on but we need to be able to continue to support them after their transplants so they can have the best possible quality of life.
“I think the patients would tell you that this new role is a vital one. After their initial treatment comes to an end, patients will need long term monitoring and they are often left with a lot of problems which may need further intervention, and many patients will need extra support to help them get used to the ‘new normal’.”
Photo credit: Tony Griffiths
She added: “It is a very rewarding job as you maintain your relationships with patients for a long time. You get to know your patients, and their families, really well.”
Three specialist nurse positions
Anthony Nolan is introducing three specialist nurse positions as part of its focus on improving quality of life for people after a transplant.
The first nurse, Hayley Leonard, has already taken up a position at The Royal Marsden in London (read Hayley's advice on fighting infection after transplant here). Susan took up her role in Newcastle in December and a third nurse will be recruited to work at Manchester Royal Infirmary and The Christie, in Manchester.
Anthony Nolan has been saving lives for four decades, by matching selfless people willing to donate their bone marrow or stem cells to blood cancer patients in desperate need of a life-saving transplant. This is usually their last chance of survival.
However, the charity is also committed to trying to improve the lives of patients who have had a transplant.
“It’s not enough just to provide a life-saving match for people who need a transplant and say our job’s done – we also want to help them live their lives to the full afterwards,” said Chiara De Biase, Head of Patient Experience at Anthony Nolan. “Our new nurses will provide integrated care and support to bone marrow transplant recipients, helping them to enjoy a good quality of life after transplant.”
To see all of our information and support services for patients, click here.