Obituary: Kim Sanderson

Therapeutic Radiographer Kim passed away at home with her family by her side on 27 January

Published: 05 March 2024 People

It is with great sadness that the Radiotherapy Department of Queen Alexandra Hospital, Portsmouth learned of the death of their friend and former colleague Kim Sanderson.

Kim passed away peacefully at home with her family by her side on Saturday 27 January 2024, aged 53.

After she trained as a Therapeutic Radiographer in Southampton, qualifying in 1992, Kim joined the radiotherapy team at St Mary’s Hospital, Portsmouth. She gained a masters degree in 1997 from the University of Portsmouth.

As a senior radiographer, Kim was responsible for the procurement and commissioning of a new radiotherapy information system to the department in 1999.

After a brief secondment to South Tyneside as a service improvement facilitator, Kim returned to Portsmouth in 2005 to take up the role of radiotherapy services manager, a position she was proud to hold until her early retirement in 2021.  

During that time, Kim was instrumental in the successful relocation of the radiotherapy department from St Mary’s to the Queen Alexandra Hospital in 2009. This was a massive undertaking, involving the procurement, installation and commissioning of all new equipment, all of which she oversaw whilst also managing the service delivery at St Mary’s. 

Her tireless commitment to the project was a significant factor in the smooth transition from the old site to the new. 10 years later, she successfully delivered the equipment renewal programme. 

Kim also qualified as a QSIR practitioner and was appointed clinical director for haematology and oncology in 2019.

Throughout her career, Kim’s professionalism and integrity, her dedication to patient care and her commitment to providing support and a good working environment for her team were widely recognised and she was hugely respected by her colleagues. Kim was always fiercely determined to be the best for her team and to encourage them to reach their full potential. She was a supportive manager to her staff, always happy to provide advice, support and encouragement to enable them to advance their careers. 

In 2017, she decided to grow her hair long enough to donate it to the Little Princess Trust, a charity which makes wigs for children with cancer. She raised £1,000 in sponsorship when the time came to cut her hair, which was donated to the establishment of Sarah’s Garden, a place within the hospital grounds that cancer patients and their families can go to relax. The garden was the idea of one of Kim’s team, who sadly died of cancer herself before the garden was finished. Kim was instrumental in getting the garden agreed and built, and it was officially opened in October 2020 and was named Sarah’s Garden, in memory of the radiographer who started the project.

Staff who worked with Kim remember her witty sense of humour and her competitive spirit. She keenly organised the annual Christmas quiz, putting lots of effort into creating interesting rounds, as well as getting mince pies from a local bakery every year on Christmas Eve for staff and patients. She cared about her staff, defending them to others and always standing up for the wellbeing of the staff and patients. Her knowledge of the department and of all the ins and outs were beyond compare and she could always be relied upon for an answer and help. She is greatly missed. 

Outside of the department, Kim was a passionate walker, particularly enjoying the Lake District and taking part in walking challenges.

She was also an avid fan of all things Duran Duran, Take That and Robbie Williams and was never happier than when she was singing and dancing at their concerts.

Kim was a much loved partner to Steve, sister to Penny and daughter to Dot, Pete and Wilf and will be sadly missed.