October was a busy month for Spire Hartswood Hospital – all in aid of Breast Cancer Awareness month. Not only did we feature in the Brentwood Gazette, Romford Recorder and Essex Life magazine with a real life story, we also helped to raise awareness amongst staff, GPs and the general public.
On the first Saturday of October we held an educational event for local GPs at the Holiday Inn, Brentwood. 17 doctors attended to learn about breast cancer and what happens to patients after they have referred them. Consultants and members of the breast services team at The Hartswood came along to meet the doctors, as did one of our patients who has had breast cancer surgery and treatment this year. Whilst specialist consultants discussed cancer diagnosis and surgery, breast care and oncology nurses focused on the after care and psychological support that a patient receives. The patient also shared her more emotional perspective of a cancer diagnosis and treatment at The Hartswood. The event was well received, with GPs confirming that it was “an excellent morning of education” and that the patient’s journey was “enlightening”.
The following week, we asked staff to get involved with the national fundraiser, Wear It Pink. Non-clinical staff were invited to ditch the traditional Spire uniform for the day and wear pink. Anybody in pink donated £2 to the Breast Cancer Campaign, resulting in £190 being raised. We featured again in the Brentwood Gazette which hopefully raised further awareness amongst the general public.
Finally, the hospital opened its doors on Saturday 22 October to the general public. Local ladies were invited in to hear a talk about breast awareness from Breast Services Nurse, Alex Edghill. Nurses, radiologists, physiotherapists and a member of our cancer support group, Inspire, also attended and gave guests the opportunity to have any breast-related questions answered by the experts. Physiotherapists offered free massages, Curvature Boutique of Leigh-on-Sea provided free bra-sizing and everybody was able to enjoy a glass of bubbly and a novelty cupcake. We raised a further £54 from a raffle that saw both staff and guests win lovely prizes ranging from a manicure to a game of golf for two and dinner and wine at a local restaurant.
All in all, the month was a great success with money raised and more importantly awareness raised! Thanks to everybody that participated!