We spoke to Amelia and the daughter one of her grateful patients, and explain why we're campaigning for more nurses like Amelia across the UK.
This is Amelia Barber, from Guy’s Hospital in London, she's a prostate cancer Clinical Nurse Specialist and now People’s Choice Award winner for her outstanding dedication to supporting men with prostate cancer.
We know that men who have access to a Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) report significantly better experiences of prostate cancer care than those who don’t. Unfortunately, we know that the workforce is already under pressure, and with large numbers of nurses planning to retire or leave nursing within the next ten years, men face missing out on this vital care. That's why it's so important that we celebrate the incredible work that CNSs do every day, nurses like Amelia Barber.
Amelia is only the second nurse to win the prestigious People's Choice Award for nurses working in prostate cancer care. Nominations are made by patients, colleagues, and family members of men living with the disease.
Amelia was nominated by Gillian Gayle (54), whose father was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2015. When her father's cancer returned this year, he needed to undergo eight rounds of chemotherapy. Gillian has accompanied her father to each appointment. She nominated Amelia to thank her for the support she offered not only to her father, but to her whole family.
“I’m thrilled Amelia has won because she deserves every bit of recognition she gets. I nominated her to thank her for the amazing support she has given my whole family throughout my dad’s chemotherapy. It’s been a hard year with my dad and mum being ill at the same time, but Amelia has been a godsend."
We used to dread going along to appointments on a Thursday but now me and my dad look forward to seeing her at each appointment. And it’s not just us – she’s exactly the same with everyone,
"We used to dread going along to appointments on a Thursday but now me and my dad look forward to seeing her at each appointment. And it’s not just us – she’s exactly the same with everyone, always going above and beyond. If I could draw a picture of what genuine kindness is, it would be Amelia."
Together with the award, Prostate Cancer UK presented Amelia with a bursary of £1,500 for training, or service improvement in the local area.
Amelia said: “I was surprised and delighted to hear I’d won this year’s People’s Choice Award. I had no idea I’d even been nominated, so when I got the call it was a real shock.
“Having been nominated for helping a patient means so much to me. The side effects of treatment can really affect how men feel about themselves, and being able to help them through it and get them the support they need is so rewarding. I’ve had lots of different jobs in my life, but I can’t imagine doing anything other than nursing.”
The number of men diagnosed with prostate cancer is increasing year-on-year and it’s expected to become the most commonly diagnosed cancer overall by 2030. However, the prostate cancer nursing workforce is currently under-resourced and not prepared for the significant increase in prostate cancer cases.
We're calling for a bold strategy from NHS providers across the UK, both to increase nurse numbers and reduce the excessive burden on current nurses, so that all men diagnosed with prostate cancer can have access to someone like Amelia.
Would you like to talk to our Specialist Nurses? Call 0800 074 8383 (Monday-Friday: 9am-6pm, Wednesday: 10am-8pm) or chat with us online.