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Lesley Thorpe

Lesley Thorpe

Macmillan Personalised Care Project Lead, Black Country Integrated Care Board

I started nurse training in 1986 at Walsall Manor Hospital. I spent many years as a surgical nurse in various roles, across Walsall, Stoke, Stafford and Wolverhampton culminating in becoming a ward manager and subsequently working as a Cancer Nurse Specialist. It was a difficult job, you’re supporting patients and their families through a very distressing time in their lives. However, being able to support them from diagnosis right through from treatment to aftercare and share that journey with them was a privilege.

I moved into the CCG as it was then in 2016, working for Macmillan on promoting cancer awareness and EOL care. More recently the four Black Country CCGs have become the Black Country ICB, where my role has morphed into facilitating personalised care. I work with colleagues from the acute trusts, primary care, public health, voluntary and third sector to improve awareness of cancer, one of my biggest achievements in the last 18 months is the formation of the Cancer Champions training programme. The Black Country ICS has over 300 cancer champions and that movement is growing on a monthly basis.

I have personal experience of cancer as a relative, three of my close family members have had cancer, and striving to improve access to cancer services and promoting cancer awareness is a passion. There is always more work to be done, more campaigns to be held, more resources to source. The NHS is a family to me and it’s all about working together and being part of a team, being resourceful, creative and positive. I always say that nurses have a different perspective on life and a uncanny sense of humour, thinking outside the box, is what makes us who we are.

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