St Bartholomew’s Hospital in the heart of London has become the fourth UK hospital, and the second in London, to host a dedicated Anthony Nolan nurse to help patients who have received a stem cell transplant to treat their blood cancer or blood disorder.
Debbie Anderson has been appointed as the Clinical Nurse Specialist for the hospital and will provide integrated care to approximately 200 patients and their families each year.
Anthony Nolan, the blood cancer charity and stem cell donor register, will fund the post for three years.
As well as St Bartholomew’s, Anthony Nolan has also funded Clinical Nurse Specialists at the Royal Marsden Hospital in London and the Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre. By April 2018 the charity will have funded nine nurse posts.
Stem cell transplant recipients often require specialist support to manage the long-term health effects from their treatment, such as Graft versus Host Disease (GvHD), where the donor cells attack the patient’s organs.
Georgina Haynes, 25, from Kent, received a stem cell transplant two years ago. She has chronic fatigue and GvHD of the skin and eyes, so is still receiving follow-up care.
“My Anthony Nolan specialist nurse was an amazing help,” said Georgina. “She was always there at any time to give me information or advice. It’s so lovely to be in contact with someone so knowledgeable, and someone who really cares.”
Henny Braund, Chief Executive of Anthony Nolan, said: “We’re really pleased to expand our network of dedicated Anthony Nolan transplant nurses to St Bartholomew’s Hospital, to help transplant recipients and their families on their journey to recovery.
“For someone with blood cancer or a blood disorder, finding a lifesaving donor is just the first step in what can be a long road back to health. We’re investing in providing dedicated care to stem cell transplant recipients to make sure they have the support they need to deal with the effects of their treatment.
“Our new nurse will provide integrated care and support to stem cell transplant recipients at St Bartholomew’s Hospital, helping them to live a full and independent life after transplant.”