A BANGOR  woman has been named as Northern Ireland’s Cancer Nurse of the Year.

Sarah McCauley, a Macmillan advanced nurse practitioner with the South Eastern Trust, was one of a number of local award winners at the Royal College of Nursing’s Nurse of the Year Awards held recently in the Culloden Hotel.

Sarah’s nominator described her as an exceptional role model who has broken new ground with the development of a nurse-led systemic anti-cancer treatment prescribing service.

She independently assesses and prescribes for patients, with over 2,300 prescribing episodes and almost 700 nurse-led oncology reviews since the service began.

Claire Cassells, from Ballyhalbert, was runner-up in the overall Nurse of the Year award.

An urology advanced nurse practitioner in the South Eastern Trust, Claire was nominated for her leadership and success in modernising and reshaping how urology care is delivered.

She established an andrology clinic which has significantly reduced waiting times and improved patients’ quality of life and treatment options. She runs two theatre lists each week, accommodating 24 patients, reducing waiting times for red flag investigations and further surgery or treatment.

The judging panel praised Claire’s passion, her commitment to making changes that benefit patient care, and her strong focus on patient outcomes.

Linda Graham from Ballygowan, regional manager of Spa Nursing Home Group, was runner-up in the Independent Sector Nursing Award.

She was nominated for being an ambassador for the independent sector and praised for her capacity to develop innovative quality improvement initiatives and influence on behalf of the nursing profession and patients. She represents the independent sector on the Department of Health Nursing and Midwifery Task Group workstream on workforce stabilisation and co-chairs the work on a safe staffing model for the sector.   

Lisa Callendar, a teenage and young adult clinical nurse specialist in the South Eastern Trust, was runner-up in the Cancer Nurse Award.

Lisa was nominated for her work to promote personalised care and support for teenage and young adult cancer patients. She was the first teenage and young adult clinical nurse specialist in the South Eastern Trust, a service that she established and now leads.  

Lisa Giltrap, from Bangor, was runner-up in the Primary Care Award.

A senior mental health practitioner at North Down GP Federation, Lisa has a background in mental health in-patient services for older people.

She has used her professional nursing skills and networks to deliver mental health assessments and interventions, ensuring that patients can access the right service in a timely manner, and be supported by a range of voluntary and community-based activities to support and maintain positive mental health and well-being.