Western Isles Macmillan team wins Unsung Heroes award

Photograph: Pictured are some of the NHS Western Isles Macmillan team accepting their award. From left, Mary Buchanan (Advanced Clinical Nurse Specialist/Team Lead, Uist & Barra), Catherine Mackinnon (Macmillan Cancer and Palliative Care Clinical Nurse Specialist) and Gail Allan (Macmillan, Lead Nurse Cancer, Palliative Care and Neurology).

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The NHS Western Isles Macmillan team has been formally recognised for ‘extraordinary effort’, adaptivity, innovation and compassion at the Macmillan Professionals Excellence Awards.

The awards are an opportunity to recognise the outstanding contribution Macmillan professionals across the UK make to cancer services.

The prestigious and independent event highlight excellence across the UK and the impact of Macmillan professionals and teams who have gone above and beyond expectations to do whatever it takes to support people living with cancer.

Despite exceptionally strong competition from across the UK, the Western Isles Macmillan team scooped the ‘Whatever It Takes’ Award.

The Whatever It Takes award category aims to recognise unsung heroes that have truly gone the extra mile.

Nominees have to demonstrate values of heart, strength and ambition through compassion, kindness, and teamwork.

Since the pandemic, to meet the changing needs of the population, the NHS Western Isles Macmillan team has stepped up to develop the local service and extend the team’s roles.

The team of nurses enhanced its professional expertise in advanced practice, including clinical examination and history taking, to add to the staff’s qualifications as prescribers.

They also introduced a seven-day service to ensure advice and support is always available to patients and professionals.

The fully integrated team now offers a single point of contact for cancer patients on the islands and supports the coordination of care.

Three members of the NHS Western Isles team attended a stunning ceremony in Glasgow on the evening of Thursday November 9.

NHS Western Isles Chief Executive, Gordon Jamieson, said: “Our Macmillan team provides an invaluable and highly treasured service to our local population, offering support and compassion at the most distressing and challenging times in people’s lives.

“This award couldn’t have gone to a more deserving team and we are exceptionally proud as an organisation to see them recognised for the incredible work they do.”

Board chairperson, Gillian McCannon, said: “It is a wonderful accolade for the Macmillan Team to have been awarded such a prestigious award as the Unsung Heroes for their outstanding contribution to supporting people with cancer.

“The team should be proud of this achievement, as I am proud of them all for being such an important part of NHS Western Isles.

“You demonstrate the key values of the organisation in going above and beyond in supporting people with cancer at a very vulnerable time of their lives.

“I would like to thank the team wholeheartedly for all that they do.”