A HOSPITAL'S haematology team has been presented with an award for its commitment to patients living with incurable blood cancer.

Charity Myeloma UK awarded Winchester’s Royal Hampshire County Hospital with the Clinical Service Excellence Programme (CSEP) on July 4.

Myeloma is a type of blood cancer that develops from plasma cells inside the bone marrow.

Dr Marianna Koperdanova, consultant haematologist at Royal Hampshire County Hospital, said: “We are delighted to receive the Myeloma UK CSEP Award. It is very rewarding for the whole team in Royal Hampshire County Hospital to be recognised in this way for the work we do to provide high quality care for patients with myeloma.”

Hampshire Chronicle: The team at Royal Hampshire County Hospital showing off their Myeloma UK CSEP award

The team was praised by Myeloma UK for its commitment to improving patients’ quality of life and adapting to their needs, as well as its efforts to make clinical trials accessible to as many as possible.

Monica Morris, from Myeloma UK, said: “Myeloma is a complex cancer which can be challenging to manage so we were extremely impressed by the team’s willingness and ability to adapt and offer bespoke care.

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“The myeloma team at Royal Hampshire County Hospital is very involved with the local patient-led support group and most of the monthly meetings are attended by one of the doctors or nurses.

"In addition to providing an extra level of information and support for patients, these meetings give medical and nursing staff a deeper understanding of the challenges faced by patients and their loved ones."

The Winchester Myeloma support group was set up in 2013 by patient Brian Orange, who died in 2017. Mary Mitchell, from Winchester, has since taken over as the support group leader.

Mary, who is now in remission, was diagnosed aged 63.

She said: “When I was diagnosed, I remember thinking that nobody in my family has ever had cancer. It takes a long time to get your head round it. You don’t know how it’s going to affect you, not just physically but mentally.”

She praised the work of the haematology team.

She said: “From the word go I felt that I had been looked after extremely well and things were explained incredibly well. The award is really well deserved because they are a fantastic team.

“As a patient you want to have confidence in the people looking after you and that’s what we’ve got."

Myeloma is the third most common type of blood cancer with around 5,800 people diagnosed with the disease in the UK every year.

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