Nurse of the year title for Yorkshire chemo nurse - all while fighting the disease herself

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Cancer nurse Jayne Gosling has been named Nurse of the Year – while battling the disease herself. Catherine Scott reports.

A chemotherapy nurse who is battling cancer herself has won a prestigious award for her amazing work.

Jayne Gosling, a chemotherapy nurse at Weston Park Hospital, has been named Nurse of the Year.

The award was presented to Jayne after weeks of nominations and a month of public voting, during which Jayne was chosen to be the recipient of a £1,000 donation to her chosen charity, The Sick Children’s Trust.

The charity provides free home from home’ accommodation, and emotional support, to families with sick children in hospital in the UK.

Jayne said: “I have been overwhelmed by the comments and good wishes I have received. People I have never met have been in touch and voted for me.

“I know it may sound modest but I didn’t expect to win so I couldn’t believe it when I saw the team from Hays with the £1,000 cheque.”

Jayne treats and cares for patients in a very busy day ward delivering chemotherapies.

She was inspired to become a nurse by her grandmother, and has been recognised by the judges of the contest for her amazing strength, consideration and inspirational personality.

“My grandmother was an auxiliary nurse who used to take me into her work when I was young and I remember sitting by patients’ bedsides and talking to them. I never wanted to do anything else,” recalls Jayne. “My grandmother was dedicated, loved her job and she would always sit and talk about people she had met whilst nursing.

“When I decided to become a nurse she was so proud, and she even gave me her fob watch. After qualifying I intended to be a midwife but started in oncology waiting for a midwifery vacancy to come up. However I loved it and have stayed here ever since.”

Having worked at Weston Park for more than 20 years, Jayne says she has seen many developments in cancer treatments. “There used to be only five or six main chemotherapy drugs, and there are now literally thousands. Diagnoses are made earlier, treatment starts earlier and it’s incredible to see survival rates from cancer improving.

“Nursing is my life, despite my 
own cancer diagnosis, and I am fortunate that it helps me in my work. The NHS is like family to me really’,” says Jayne.

“My ex-colleague nominated me (for the award) because I am treating cancer patients whilst undergoing treatment myself on a three-weekly basis. I feel I am just doing my job though,” says Jayne.

Jayne was nominated by her colleague Michelle Furness, a clinical advisor at Hallamshire Hospital, who said: “Jayne is a chemotherapy nurse who manages to treat and care for patients in a very busy day ward delivering chemotherapies, while herself battling through cancer and undergoing treatment on a three-weekly basis. Jayne has amazing strength and has dedicated her nursing career spanning over 25 years to oncology. Jayne is inspirational, amazingly strong and remains the most caring, considerate, and dedicated nurse.

But Jayne remains humble about her achievements

“I see amazing patients all day on our ward, from teenagers through to the elderly coming in to be diagnosed and looked after throughout their treatment plan. There is fantastic teamwork on display here all the time. The patients have so many ups and downs and it’s my job to be there for them throughout the difficult periods, and keep them positive at all times.

“Some patients have to go into isolation as part of their treatment and depend on your support when they’re feeling vulnerable. Patients rely on you, and come to you for stability and honesty. I am here to support them however I can.”

Jayne added that she had chosen the Sick Children’s Trust to receive the money because of the invaluable support it provides to families through difficult times.

“On average, two million children in the UK require hospital treatment each year. They often have to be transferred to specialist units far from home and life for their families is suddenly thrown into turmoil.”

Simon Hudson, director at Hays Healthcare who ran the competition said, “We are delighted to recognise Jayne’s outstanding commitment to patient care through this award, and to support the work of Jayne’s chosen charity, The Sick Children’s Trust.

“Jayne’s contribution to nursing and care for patients is amazing, and was reflected in her receiving a high percentage of the votes. Jayne represents the very best qualities of the nursing profession.”