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10.7 Case Study 5 Lucie Martin

Macmillan Radiotherapy Awareness Project Specialist

Career Pathway including education and training undertaken

I studied three years at Sheffield Hallam University doing a degree in Radiotherapy and Oncology and qualified in 2007. 

My first place of employment was at St James Hospital in Leeds as a band 5 therapeutic radiographer. I worked on one of the first XVI Elekta machines in the UK assisting in the protocol for prostate patients. After a year I decided I wanted to obtain some experience working abroad and worked agency at a centre in Cyprus. At this centre I had to learn to speak basic Cypriot and work at a more advanced level as there was no banding system. I quickly felt that I was developing in my role as a radiographer and liked the new responsibilities I had gained. Once my contract finished I returned to the UK and took a job back at Leeds as a band 6 therapeutic radiographer. I initially was placed on a busy linac with 45 patients a day. The opportunity for a 2 year secondment became available in Brachytherapy and as I had enjoyed that experience as a student I decided to go for it and took the post. I took full responsibility of running a busy theatre, manage a source of radiation, emergency procedures, staff training, education within department about Brachytherapy and changed the Feminine aftercare advice patients received. As my 2 years came to a close I began to look for alternative opportunities and applied for a job at Sheffield as a Macmillan Project Specialist. In April 2013 I began this first of a kind job. 

Case presentation; context, role, and how service is delivered differently because of the role, Oucomes, Future

IN 2010 NRAG (National Radiotherapy Advisory group) published a report about the current / projected activity of radiotherapy treatment fractions and NRAG assumptions. They found that the North of England particularly North Trent had the lowest numbers of fractions per million of population than the rest of England. As part of the 2011 national Radiotherapy awareness strategy, the Sheffield Trust bid Macmillan to assist in funding a post to investigate this. 

My role is to increase radiotherapy awareness within our catchment area. My project consists of focussing on education, access and press coverage. Within these areas there are numerous tasks within the project such as developing fundraising buses to transport patients, education events for the public and health professionals and surveying health professionals within trust. The North Trent area is currently going through a lot of change as we have integrated into the Yorkshire and Humberside network therefore a large part of my job is networking and building relations between primary, secondary and tertiary care for radiotherapy awareness whilst raising Weston Park Hospitals profile. 

The service improvement is to increase radiotherapy uptake over this time which we have already witnessed as well as dispel some of the negative views radiotherapy has within the community. My post is only 18 months long so it is essential that all the tasks I have started can continue when I leave post and be managed by staff within the department. 

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