Radiotherapy team highly commended in prestigious national award for work to improve service for breast cancer patients | Latest news from Radiotherapy

Radiotherapy team highly commended in prestigious national award for work to improve service for breast cancer patients

We are delighted to share that our Radiotherapy team won Highly Commended in a prestigious national award for its innovative work implementing tattoo-free radiotherapy and improving the patient journey for patients receiving treatment for breast cancer.

The team, which is based at Royal Derby Hospital, was recognised in the Health Service Journal's (HSJ) Partnership Award last night, Thursday 16 November, for the rollout of Surface Guided Radiotherapy (SGRT) - a very precise form of radiotherapy that eliminates the need for permanent, visible tattoos and marks to be placed on the patient's skin.

The team has already received high praise for its efforts implementing the treatment and in March this year took home the award for 'Most Effective Contribution To Improving Cancer Outcomes' in collaboration with VisionRT at the HSJ Partnership awards.

Traditionally, radiotherapy involves tattooing patients after their CT scan to give a starting point for set up during treatment. The tattoos are permanent dots positioned in the most stable place found near the treatment area and patients can have up to five of these permanent marks placed on their skin as well as temporary pen marks drawn onto the treatment area.  Whilst the patient is having treatment, these temporary marks can stain clothing, make washing and caring for the area difficult as well as impact on daily activities such as continuing with hobbies like swimming and sports.

However, this new technology allows for patients with cancer to receive more accurate treatment without a permanent reminder of their cancer journey.

Sue Marriott, Radiotherapy Service Manager, said the team was "delighted" by being Highly Commended for the innovative work being done to improve cancer care and outcomes for patients.

Sue said: "We have been in partnership with VisionRT to introduce SGRT here at UHDB, and the team has worked tirelessly to bring the benefits of this technology to Royal Derby Hospital with our patients at the very centre of our vision.

"To be nominated for this award for all of our hard work - let alone Highly Commended - is an incredible achievement, and will help to raise the profile of Therapeutic Radiography. I am so proud of what we've done and all we've accomplished."

Since June 2021, around 1,200 breast cancer patients have benefitted from SGRT and Lydia Kedziorek, Principal Treatment Superintendent, said the team is committed to offering the treatment to more patients, with the hope that its use can be expanded to treat different forms of cancer in the future.

Lydia said: "We have had our patients at the heart of our implementation and we have a strong partnership with Vision RT, and look forward to continuing our work with them to make radiotherapy even more effective for our patients."

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