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Thursday, 3 December 2020


New asbestos-related cancer nurse specialist appointed for South Tyneside and Sunderland

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JOANNE Anderson has been appointed as a new Mesothelioma UK Clinical Nurse Specialist at South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust. Joanne will be based at Sunderland Royal Hospital and will also support mesothelioma patients at South Tyneside District Hospital.

Mesothelioma is a cancer related to exposure to asbestos and predominantly affects the lining of the lungs. The UK has the highest incidence of the disease in the world with around 2,700 people diagnosed each year. The North East is amongst the regions with the highest incidence of mesothelioma and definitely a hot spot. Data between 1981 and 2017 has shown that Sunderland had the highest female death rate from mesothelioma in the UK.

Joanne will focus on caring for patients with lung cancer and mesothelioma at every part of their treatment journey, helping to make their journey as smooth as possible. She will also be working with READLEY asbestos support group, along with Mesothelioma UK Nurse Team Leader, Leah Taylor.

Joanne qualified as a Registered Nurse in 1994 and has worked in respiratory medicine throughout her career. In 2000, she took up the position as Lung Cancer Support Nurse, working predominantly with patients receiving chemotherapy for lung cancer and mesothelioma. In 2005, Joanne took up a post as Lung Cancer Nurse Specialist where she was a key worker for patients diagnosed with both lung cancer and mesothelioma, offering them hospital-based support from pre-diagnosis through treatment and to palliative care.

Commenting on her new role, Joanne said:

“Across Sunderland and South Tyneside, we have one of the highest incidences of mesothelioma in the North East region.

“As a region with such a high number of mesothelioma cases, I am looking forward to working with Mesothelioma UK and other support groups and agencies to support patients both locally and across the North East following a diagnosis of mesothelioma.”

Lorraine Creech, Head of Nursing for Mesothelioma UK, added:

“I am really pleased that Joanne has been able to join the Mesothelioma UK Clinical Nurse Specialist team. Joanne will join Leah Taylor who is the Mesothelioma UK Clinical Nurse Specialist at Northumbria and our Nurse Team Leader for the north of England and Scotland. Leah will be able to offer Joanne a tremendous amount of support as she commences in the role and together, they will be able to have a positive impact on mesothelioma services locally, regionally and nationally.

“We’re so grateful for the generosity of our supporters and donors in the region and we’re pleased to be able to strengthen the support available in the area to reflect this.”

South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust provide acute hospitals and community-based healthcare services to a population of around 430,000 people.

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