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Ruth Hendy

ruth hendyI have been in this newly designated 1.0wte post as Lead Cancer Nurse at UHBristol since January 2011 when there was organisational recognition that this post required a stand-alone post holder to concentrate on the specific responsibilities of this role.

The Lead Cancer Nurse post sits in Trust Services, providing strategic Trust-wide leadership in ensuring consistency in developing high quality cancer nursing services and workforce across the Trust.

"I came to UH Bristol in 1987 as a student nurse and have stayed within the Trust for my whole nursing career."

For over 20 years I worked in Bristol Haematology and Oncology Centre as a staff nurse on the oncology / haematology ward, moving on to be a Chemotherapy Nurse (helping to set up the first BHOC Chemotherapy Day Unit and completing my BSc Hons during this time). I then worked in clinical trials as a Research Nurse and moved on from here to be the Chemotherapy Clinical Nurse Specialist / Lead Chemotherapy Nurse. During this role I set up the initial PICC service and completed my MSc. 

My next challenge was taking up the role of Matron at BHOC, a role I was fortunate enough to job-share with my long-standing oncology colleague Hayley Long. Hayley and I were the first Matrons at UH Bristol to be given the opportunity to job-share in this senior position. We worked hard to make it a success. At the time we both had young children, but were both still motivated to continue developing our careers and use our expertise and felt well positioned to share this Matron's post to maintain an important work-life balance at this time in our lives. We were so grateful to the Trust for being prepared to give us the opportunity at that time.

Having been a Matron for 6 years (and with children getting older), the timing was perfect for me when the 1.0wte Lead Cancer Nurse post was developed. I truly felt my whole career had been leading towards this role.

"I felt well positioned in the organisation, professionally and personally to take on this exciting challenge."

Today, I continue to focus on improving the cancer patient experience across our organisation. I help determine and influence strategic cancer services developments and support clinical teams in implementing these initiatives (including the more recent introduction of Cancer Support Worker roles and the implementation of the cancer 'Recovery Package' for a growing population of people 'living with and beyond' their 'long term condition' cancer diagnosis) . UH Bristol Cancer Services are leading the way nationally in a number of ways and I am regularly asked to speak at conferences / present posters of the services we have developed and integrated into our cancer care model.

I feel privileged and proud to have spent my nursing career at UH Bristol and still feel supported and motivated to continue progressing service developments to benefit the patients we serve.