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Bristol Haematology and Oncology Centre receives top cancer award for the second time

Last updated: 17/04/2024

Bristol Haematology and Oncology Centre (BHOC), part of University Hospitals of Bristol and Weston NHS Trust, has scooped a national award for its commitment to patients living with incurable blood cancer.

The haematology team was presented yesterday (Tuesday, 16th April 2024) with the Myeloma UK Clinical Service Excellence Programme (CSEP) Award in recognition of its outstanding care and dedication to patients with myeloma, an incurable blood cancer which claims the lives of 3,000 people in the UK each year.

This is the second time BHOC has received this award, which is only handed to a select few hospitals every four years.

Staff were praised for their efforts to improve patients’ quality of life and eagerness to adapt and listen to their needs.

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

Dr Jenny Bird, myeloma consultant at BHOC said: “We are very proud the team at Bristol Haematology and Oncology Centre has been recognised in this way. At UHBW all our colleagues are committed to delivering exceptional patient-centred care, with compassion.

“Winning this award for a second time is recognition of how our colleagues continually support our patients and ensure their treatment goes as smoothly as possible.”

Myeloma occurs in the bone marrow and currently affects over 24,000 people in the UK. 

It is especially hard to spot as the 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. 

Myeloma is a relapsing-remitting cancer, meaning that although many patients will experience periods of remission following treatment, the disease will inevitably return.  

Claire Shakespeare, who was diagnosed with myeloma in 2013 and has received two stem cell transplants at Bristol Haematology and Oncology Centre, presented the team with their award. Claire said: “The care I received, from everyone, was second to none.

“Everyone from the doctors and the nurses to the cleaning staff deserves this award. It is wonderful to be here to present it and I want to thank you all, very, very, very much from the bottom of my heart for your service.”

More than half of myeloma patients face a wait of over five months to receive the right diagnosis and around a third are diagnosed through A&E. 

While it is incurable, myeloma is treatable in the majority of cases.

Treatment is aimed at controlling the disease, relieving the complications and symptoms it causes, and extending and improving patients’ quality of life.

Rhys Owens, Clinical Practice Services Senior Projects Officer at Myeloma UK, said: “Myeloma is a challenging cancer which keeps coming back and can be really difficult to cope with both physically and mentally, so we were hugely impressed with the hospital’s efforts to ease patients’ burden and make their treatment that little bit easier.

“To see the team going the extra mile day after day to give those affected by myeloma a fighting chance to live well for as long as possible is truly inspiring.”