County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust has been recognised for its commitment to providing superior treatment to patients with Myeloma, which is the second most common form of blood cancer and currently affects around 17,500 people in the UK.

Myeloma UK has awarded teams working at University Hospital of North Durham and Darlington Memorial Hospital, its Myeloma UK Clinical Services Excellence Programme Award.

Mark Jones, deputy associate director of operations, said, “We’re delighted to have achieved the very high standards required to receive this award. It’s particularly pleasing that, in addition to the care our patients receive, their views and those of their family, on their experience, were taken into account. I am very proud of the whole team.”

Deborah Grimes, haematology clinical nurse specialist, said, “Myeloma is a complex cancer which originates in the bone marrow and has non-specific symptoms, so it can be difficult to detect. Each year 5,700 new cases are diagnosed in the UK – that’s 15 cases every day. We’re committed to ensuring our patients receive the very best care and benefit from the improvements in treatment that have become available over the last ten years, which mean survival rates for patients with Myeloma are increasing faster than for most other cancers.

“Treatments include chemotherapy and biological therapies, plus supportive therapies such as blood transfusions and infusions which help bone integrity. We work closely with The Freeman Hospital, Newcastle, Myeloma team, on behalf of patients requiring bone marrow stem cell transplant procedures. Our consultant haematologists and clinical nurse specialists are part of the multi-disciplinary team with their Newcastle-based colleagues, at which each patient is discussed individually and a joint plan agreed to take their care forward.”