A MEDICAL team has gained national recognition for providing superior care for cancer patients at two hospitals.

County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust was recognised by charity Myeloma UK for its treatment of patients with myeloma– the second most common form of blood cancer which affects about 17,500 people in the UK. Teams working at University Hospital of North Durham and Darlington Memorial Hospital received the Myeloma UK Clinical Services Excellence Programme Award.

Mark Jones, deputy associate director of operations, said: "We’re delighted to have achieved the very high standards required to receive this award. It’s particularly pleasing that, in addition to the care our patients receive, their views and those of their family, on their experience, were taken into account. I am very proud of the whole team.”

Deborah Grimes, haematology clinical nurse specialist, said: "Myeloma is a complex cancer which originates in the bone marrow and has non-specific symptoms, so it can be difficult to detect. Each year 5,700 new cases are diagnosed in the UK – that’s 15 cases every day. We’re committed to ensuring our patients receive the very best care and benefit from the improvements in treatment that have become available over the last ten years, which mean survival rates for patients with myeloma are increasing faster than for most other cancers."

Treatments include chemotherapy, biological therapies, blood transfusions and infusions and the Trust works with The Freeman Hospital in Newcastle and its consultant haematologists and clinical nurse specialists are part of a multi-disciplinary team with their Newcastle-based colleagues to plan each patient's individual care.