Tom O’Connor, Macmillan Lead Cancer Nurse for Palliative Care at North Middlesex University Hospital Trust has received a Cavell Star Award in recognition of his dedication to patients at the end of life.
The awards recognise nurses, midwives, nursing associates and healthcare assistants who shine bright and show exceptional care to colleagues, patients and their families. Participants are nominated by their colleagues.
The palliative care nursing team who nominated Tom for the award were keen to recognise his dedication to his patients, and said:
‘Tom has devoted the last 15 years to working in palliative care across North London, the last three of which have been as Macmillan Lead Nurse for Palliative Care at North Mid.’
‘He is a caring, compassionate individual who doesn’t hesitate to go above & beyond for those people affected by cancer, including their family and friends. He prioritises his patients, keeping a calm, gentle and confident manner sometimes in challenging situations. As North Middlesex serves a very diverse population with differing health, cultural and spiritual needs, his sensitivity makes a real difference. His exceptional clinical knowledge ensures patients receive the best possible palliative care and their end of life wishes are discussed and planned for.’
‘I am delighted to receive this award and be recognised by my peers for the work of the palliative care team at the hospital which has developed and grown over the last few years. It is a real privilege to work with people who are at the end of their life. Ensuring that people who have incurable cancer and their family and friends are well informed, comfortable, safe and valued can make such a difference and is one of the reasons that I wanted to specialise in this area.’
Tom manages a team of clinical nurse specialists, including fast track discharge planning to help arrange for people to die in the place and in the way they have chosen, where possible. He maintains a close link with community colleagues, GPs and community palliative care teams. He also plays an active part in palliative and end of life care education across the Trust.