15 March 2022

Celebrating National Cancer CNS Day

Cancer clinical nurse specialists (CNS) from across the NHS are telling us why they enjoy their job, on the first National Cancer CNS Day.

The day is being held to highlight the role clinical nurse specialists play in supporting people with cancer. Cancer clinical nurse specialists are experts in different types of cancer and help patients to understand their diagnosis and support them through their cancer experience.

Katy Hollobon, pictured here, joined our Trust in 2011 and became a Macmillan Breast Clinical Nurse Specialist in 2020. She says:

Katy Hollobon, Macmillan breast CNS

Katy Hollobon, Macmillan Breast Clinical Nurse Specialist

“I became a Macmillan Breast CNS because I wanted to make a difference to patients’ lives by supporting them through their diagnosis and subsequent treatments. To be able to help, at possibly the toughest time of someone’s life, makes me feel very privileged and I love doing what I do!”

Macmillan nurses are clinical nurse specialists with experience and qualifications in cancer care. They are usually the main contact for a patient with cancer and provide information about the type of cancer the patient has, the treatment options and possible side effects. They also give practical and emotional support to patients and their families.

Mark Collins, Macmillan Lead Cancer Nurse at East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust, said:

“I am proud to lead a team of over 70 Cancer Clinical Nurse Specialists who are transforming cancer patients care and experience. Our CNSs act as keyworkers along the pathway and are very often in extended roles as prescribers and advanced practitioners.

“Cancer Clinical Nurse Specialists have increasing opportunities to improve all aspects of cancer patient care and in the future we expect to expand our availability with extended hours of working. Our CNSs are central to the Personalised Cancer Care quality initiatives outlined in the NHS Long Term Plan to support patient centred follow up care.”

To celebrate the incredible support cancer CNSs provide for our patients, we are supporting a national social media campaign to showcase the role of a CNS and the amazing work they do. To see more stories from CNSs across East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust and the wider NHS, follow us on Twitter or Facebook, or search #NationalCancerCNSDay.

If you are interested in a career as a CNS or if you would like to find out more about the role, visit Macmillan Cancer Support. National Cancer CNS Day is being led by Greater Manchester Cancer Alliance and supported nationally by Health Education England, Macmillan, United Kingdom Oncology Nursing Society (UKONS) and the Royal College of Nursing.