West Mid Goes Glam

With a fashion show to launch Breast Cancer Pledge

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On Friday 30th October, West Middlesex University Hospital hosted a fashion show to celebrate our achievements as a highly regarded breast care unit and to launch the Breakthrough Service Pledge for Breast Cancer.

Natashia Cedeno, the Macmillan Breast Care nurse who proposed the fashion show, was absolutely delighted with the event, “The models all had a wonderful time and they proved that once you can beat breast cancer and live a glamorous lifestyle once again. The breakthrough service pledge that was launched has really helped us professionals to highlight the issues that matter most to our patients. The joint partnership we have developed with them has brought us closer as a team, helping to improve the patient experience.”

The show was modelled by ten patients, all of whom have experienced breast cancer, so it was definitely an emotional experience for them and their friends and families, who came to watch. They were pampered before the show, having their hair and make-up done by ‘Look Good Feel Better’, a charitable company ran by volunteers. Every model was individually styled by John Lewis Kingston and Marks and Spencer, making for a very chic catwalk!

Maggie Alexander, Director of Policy, Education and Influencing at Breakthrough Breast Cancer, said of the event, “We are delighted that West Middlesex University Hospital has committed to improving its service through Breakthrough’s Service Pledge for Breast Cancer. Straightforward suggestions from patients can make a big difference to services and do not have to be expensive. We believe that by using Breakthrough’s Service Pledge for Breast Cancer, and really listening to the views of patients, West Middlesex University Hospital can play its part in achieving this goal.”

The show was also attended by the Mayor of Richmond, Councillor Celia Hodges and Ann Keen, MP for Brentford and Isleworth and Parliamentary Under Secretary for Health Services at the Department of Health. Ann made a short speech, highlighting how since 2006, West Middlesex NHS Trust has significantly reduced its diagnostic waiting times and has consistently achieved high scores in the national Peer Review process compared against the local and national averages.

Ann Keen MP said, "As a nurse from West Middlesex and now as Health Minister I was proud to take part in the launch of the West Middlesex University Hospital Breakthrough service pledge for Breast Cancer. Without the hard work and dedication of the Nurses, Doctors, patients and support staff at the West Middlesex this would have not been possible.

"West Middlesex has now joined another 25 hospitals in the UK who have signed up to this quality improvement initiative. The launch which included an spectacular fashion show modelled by patients with clothes donated by Marks and Spencer and John Lewis was an excellent way to launch the service pledge. Their families were right to feel proud of them for taking part. ”

Every person diagnosed with breast cancer at West Middlesex University Hospital will be given a copy of the pledge, which will also advise them on the services they can expect to be available and how they can let us know if something can be done better. It clearly seeks to prioritise the input of patients, supported by staff, in leading change to breast cancer services.

November 3, 2009