Margaret and friends: Helping to achieve wonderful results for patients with breast cancer

13 Jul 2016

Patients in the breast cancer unit at St Bartholomew’s are being seen and diagnosed quicker thanks to the wonderful fundraising of a group of supporters and breast cancer survivors.

The problem:

“Patients with breast cancer are facing delays and having to wait for biopsy procedures, plus having to spend longer waiting when they are in clinics.”

The answer:

A dedicated group of supporters – all breast cancer survivors themselves.

Thanks to the amazing fundraising of Margaret Hazard and her friends in the breast cancer support group, staff at St Bartholomew’s have been able to buy a new biopsy chair, meaning patients are being seen much more quickly for vital procedures.

Over the last 10-15 years, the group have been raising money in a variety of ways including knitting, baking, cake sales, and making marmalade.

The new biopsy chair is now being used for women undergoing diagnostic biopsies. It is versatile and allows the patient to sit or lie comfortably during what can be a lengthy procedure.

Importantly – it dramatically reduces waiting times for patients.

Previously, patients had to wait until one lady had finished before staff could see them. Waiting for such a procedure can be an anxious time.

Anne Dean, senior radiographer at the unit said: “Everyone in the Breast Imaging Department would like to thank the support group for their generous donations and to Barts Charity for all their help in getting the chair so quickly.

“We are now able to perform the biopsies simultaneously in different rooms, which means we can see more women, reduce the anxious waiting time and speed up diagnosis. It’s made a huge improvement to the efficiency of our assessment clinics.”

Purchase of the chair – which cost £5,000 – is the latest positive difference being made to patients thanks to the breast cancer support group.

Thanks to their fundraising, staff at the breast cancer unit have also been able to enhance their wig and styling service, and buy iPads so patients can complete their Health Needs Assessment questionnaire more easily.

Pictured: Margaret (second from right) alongside two of the support group and staff of the clinic.

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