Hammersmith Hospital scoops national award for cancer care


Hammersmith Hospital has scooped a national award for its commitment to patients living with incurable blood cancer.

The haematology team at Hammersmith Hospital was presented with the Myeloma UK Clinical Service Excellence Programme (CSEP) Award on Monday (November 1) in recognition of its outstanding care and unflagging dedication to patients with myeloma, an incurable blood cancer which claims the lives of 3,000 people in the UK each year.

Myeloma is especially hard to spot as its symptoms are often vague and dismissed as ageing or other minor conditions. By the time many patients are diagnosed their cancer has advanced and they require urgent treatment. This can significantly impact their chances of survival and quality of life.

The accolade, awarded by charity Myeloma UK, recognises hospitals’ commitment to raising the bar for treatment and providing compassionate and individualised care to patients.

Consultant Haematologist at Hammersmith Hospital, Dr Maria Atta, said: “We are extremely delighted to receive the CSEP award from Myeloma UK. This is an acknowledgment of the hard work and high standards of care provided by our Trust to patients with myeloma and other related conditions. This is a multidisciplinary team effort who, despite the difficulties imposed by the pandemic, have managed to prevail.”

The Myeloma UK CSEP programme assesses a range of criteria including testing and diagnosis, research and clinical trials, end of life care, information and support, patient experience, treatment and supportive care, multidisciplinary team working and awareness, education and referral.

Hammersmith Hospital’s haematology department was praised by Myeloma UK Head of Clinical Practice Services, Suzanne Renwick, for its “proactive attitude, exemplary teamwork and holistic approach to patient care”.

She said: “As a charity working to ensure patients’ needs are met at every stage of their treatment, we were especially impressed by staff’s commitment to patients and their eagerness to find new innovative ways to improve their service. An example of this is the piloting of a virtual clinic to address patient concerns without them having to physically go to the hospital.”

Ms Renwick also commended the hospital’s seven-day outpatient service.

“This is the first time we have come across of a seven-day outpatient haematology service,” she added. “It is hugely impressive and extremely beneficial to patients.”

Ramesh Patel, 63, from Wembley, has been treated for AL amyloidosis, a rare incurable condition related to myeloma, at Hammersmith Hospital since May 2019.

He said: “Dr Atta has been coordinating my treatment since 2019 and has essentially been keeping me alive. The treatment and help I and my family have received has been brilliant. The team are approachable and helpful.”

“When I was diagnosed, I was in a wheelchair and using a Zimmer frame, but I’ve made good progress over the last two years and I no longer need a Zimmer frame,” added the father-of-two, who has undergone six cycles of chemotherapy. “Everyone, from the doctors to the nurses, has provided me with so much support – I can’t fault them.”