Fiona wins bronze award at the British Journal of Nursing Awards

Occupational therapist Fiona Sanderson hopes winning an award for her work will bring recognition for the condition she treats rather than herself.

By News Team on July 1, 2022

Fiona, a lymphoedema specialist at St Ann’s Hospice, collected a bronze award at the British Journal of Nursing Awards 2022.

The honour took her by surprise as she was even unaware she had been nominated and she is not actually a nurse, her prize coming in the Chronic Oedema Nurse of the Year category.

Fiona, who is also affiliated to Macmillan in her role as a palliative care specialist, has treated patients at Heald Green and Little Hulton in nine years at St Ann’s.

I feel slightly embarrassed by the award, but it's nice to get the recognition for our lymphoedema work and, if anything, it highlights how important our services are. I love my job and making a difference to people who might have been searching for treatments over a long time to help them manage their condition. It's an under-staffed and under-resourced service in this country. More people than you think suffer from lymphoedema, which can lead to other problems like wounds, infections and sepsis. “People with cancer can experience lymphoedema, but it can also be congenital or occur due to other conditions such as vascular problems and cellulitis. It limits what people can do in their life. One lady I treated recently had swollen ankles and couldn't get her shoes back on after not going outdoors for two years in the pandemic. After three weeks of treatment, she was able to send us a photo of her at her local restaurant. People are grateful there's a service out there which helps them get a better quality of life. Fiona Sanderson

Lymphoedema is a swelling caused by an impaired lymphatic system and affects any part of the body. Most common areas are arms or legs, but the head, neck, breast, abdomen and genital area can also be affected. It is estimated that lymphoedema affects between 263,000-422,000 people in the UK

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