Ipswich Hospital has received a national award for its care for patients living with incurable blood cancer.

The hospital’s haematology team collected the Myeloma UK Clinical Service Excellence Programme (CSEP) Award in recognition of their outstanding care and dedication to patients with myeloma – an incurable blood cancer.

Staff were praised for their efforts to improve patients’ quality of life and eagerness to adapt and truly listen to their needs.

Jayne Chappels, the haematology clinical nurse specialist at Ipswich Hospital, said: “The Ipswich Hospital myeloma team are delighted to receive the Myeloma UK CSEP award for clinical excellence.

“We feel it also acknowledges the teamwork between haematology and the wider hospital services such as the laboratory and research teams, palliative care, orthopaedics, and radiology.

“As a team, we aim to provide the best care for our myeloma patients from diagnosis onwards.

“We are very proud that Myeloma UK has found our services to be of a high standard and that it is acknowledged that our patients are receiving high-quality care.

“All members of the team work exceptionally hard to ensure high levels of care, from consultants, nurse specialists to ward, clinic and day unit staff.”

One of the patients, Tracey Bantoft from East Ipswich, who was diagnosed with myeloma, said that the team at Ipswich Hospital “saved her life”.

The 52-year-old said: “In March 2018 I started suffering with pins and needles in my hands up to my elbows, and I lived with it for a bit.

East Anglian Daily Times: Tracey Bantoft, a patient at Ipswich HospitalTracey Bantoft, a patient at Ipswich Hospital (Image: Own archives)

“A few months later, when I couldn’t move my arm, a GP diagnosed me with carpal tunnel and frozen shoulder.

“Finally, in December 2018, another GP ordered me to do a blood test. I got an urgent phone call in the middle of the night that I had to go to A&E immediately. I was in end-stage kidney failure with less than a day to live.

“I was in Ipswich Hospital for months. I didn’t think I would still be here now, to tell you the truth. I was very close to dying, and I’m so grateful to the haematology team who have really looked after me.”

Tracey, who is now in remission, said that she probably “touched every department at Ipswich Hospital” adding every team is "brilliant".

East Anglian Daily Times: Tracey Bantoft with her partner GuyTracey Bantoft with her partner Guy (Image: Own archives)

The award, granted by the charity, Myeloma UK, recognises hospitals’ commitment to raising the bar for treatment and providing compassionate and personalised care to patients.

East Anglian Daily Times: The team from Ipswich Hospital with the Myeloma UK CSEP awardThe team from Ipswich Hospital with the Myeloma UK CSEP award (Image: Myeloma UK)