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Bobby Robson: Cancer nurse at West Suffolk Hospital to be funded through high-profile campaign

PUBLISHED: 19:36 22 July 2013 | UPDATED: 10:49 23 July 2013

L-R: Fred Tuck (Oncology clinical nurse specialist), Karen McKinnon (lead nurse for cancer) and Helen Small (Oncology clinical nurse specialist) are pictured at the Macmillan Centre at West Suffolk Hospital talking about a new role called ‘the Sir Bobby Robson nurse’ which is being funded by the auction and ball.

L-R: Fred Tuck (Oncology clinical nurse specialist), Karen McKinnon (lead nurse for cancer) and Helen Small (Oncology clinical nurse specialist) are pictured at the Macmillan Centre at West Suffolk Hospital talking about a new role called ‘the Sir Bobby Robson nurse’ which is being funded by the auction and ball.

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Cancer patients in west Suffolk are set to benefit from money raised by a high-profile online auction and ball named after Sir Bobby Robson.

A cancer nurse, called the Sir Bobby Robson Nurse, at West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds will be funded by a proportion of the cash donated to Sir Bobby’s Breakthrough Auction and Ball in October.

The last online auction in 2011, along with the star-studded ball in Bury St Edmunds, raised £248,000 in just two weeks for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation and Breakthrough Breast Cancer.

This year the goal is £1million, with money going towards supporting clinical trials for new cancer treatments, on-going support of the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation and Breakthrough Breast Cancer, as well as West Suffolk Hospital and Ipswich Hospital.

Karen McKinnon, lead cancer nurse and service manager for clinical medicine at West Suffolk Hospital, said the new Sir Bobby Robson Nurse - a role which would cost £50,000 for a year - would help those affected by cancer get back into a normal life.

She said: “What this post is about doing is looking at a more holistic model that will improve the patient’s wellbeing and health outcomes.

“It’s looking at what we can do after they have got their diagnosis and been for treatment.

“What a lot of patients complain about is they have got all this support while they are in the service, but then they stop having regular treatment and their six-monthly or whatever follow-up and they feel a little bit they are in the abyss.

“It’s all about how to make the best of life and aim to get a normal life - that’s what we are looking at this role to do.”

She said it would be about promoting exercise, healthy lifestyle and diet, adding the new nurse would be based at the Macmillan Unit (oncology department) at the hospital.

Mrs McKinnon said: “We are obviously delighted they have chosen our hospital to be one of the beneficiaries of this and hopefully to the benefit of patients.”

She added: “Hopefully patients will feel supported to move into the next stage of their life or back to normality.”

Gina Long, founder of the charity campaign, said: “The Online Auction and the Ball in Suffolk are magnificent platforms that allow anybody who wants to to become involved, helping us raise crucial funds for The Sir Bobby Robson Foundation, Breakthrough Breast Cancer and two Suffolk hospitals; all such very worthy causes close to my heart.”

To support the campaign visit www.sirbobbysbreakthrough.com

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