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We are the NHS: A day in the life of…the Head of Cancer Network

Date: 04/10/2021 | Category: Blogs

As part of our Black History Month #ProudToBe celebrations, we caught up with Kathy Nelson, Head of Cancer Network, about how integration is benefitting cancer services across BLMK.

“My name is Kathy Nelson; I am the Head of Cancer Network for BLMK CCG but my role enables me to work with partners across the Integrated Care System (ICS) including the hospitals and commissioners.

“A typical day in the life is filled with meetings and managing email traffic, as you would expect, but much of my work is involved in transforming and recovering cancer services following the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“For me, integration and cancer services go hand in hand. Cancer is commissioned at different levels with primary care, Public Health, hospitals and charities all providing services. There’s a lot of integration in how cancer care is delivered and we all work together to ensure its seamless.

“In fact, we’re pushing the boundaries a little bit with our programme, for example, we’re looking at how we can offer alternative treatments to women with breast cancer. We’ve introduced a new test that determines the patient’s risk with having chemotherapy and whether it would benefit the patient or not. The test helps us offer the best treatment for that individual ensuring their quality of life during treatment is the best it can be. Integration can only happen when people from these different organisations we work with want to see change for the better and for our team it’s all about improving patient outcomes.

“Many of us have been touched by cancer. We know people or may be going through it ourselves. Anyone who has been affected by cancer knows the impact it can have on the smallest things, so for me and the team, we’re focussed on improving those patient outcomes and quality of life.

“You can always take something your passionate about and make it work in the NHS because there’s so many different careers to choose from.”

Search ‘NHS Careers’ or visit: for more information and to find out the roles available within the NHS.