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Clinical Nurse Specialists

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It's National Cancer CNS Day on 26 April!

This week is National Cancer CNS Day, a chance to celebrate the amazing work of all our Clinical Nurse Specialists do - thank you for everything you do to keep Putting Patients First!

What is National CNS Day?

National Cancer CNS Day was launched in 2022. The day was a huge success which saw 17 of the 21 alliances come together to raise the profile and showcase the amazing work of our Cancer Clinical Nurse Specialists.

Thank you…

On National Cancer CNS Day, we want to say a huge thank you to all our Cancer Clinical Nurse Specialists for going above and beyond to care for us all.
The roles undertaken by CNSs are many and varied, they treat and manage the health concerns of patients and work to support, and promote health and wellbeing in the patients they care for every day.

A patient's story on the vital support CNSs provide to our patients.

Nursing in the CNS field is considered a privilege by many of our staff members - they work with patients facing one of life's greatest challenges, and they are often humbled by the resilience, strength and compassion they witness. Vinnies and his mom kindly share their thoughts on the support provided by Dawn Forbes, Children and Young People Oncology Nurse Specialist.

photo of Vinnie with family and Dawn

Meet some of our CNSs working in our Trust.

Our Trust is home to over 60 Clinical Nurse Specialists. All of them deserve a special thank you for their tireless dedication to patients. Through diagnosis and recovery, they provide support to patients and their families.

Nursing in the CNS field is considered a privilege by many of our staff members - they work with patients facing one of life's greatest challenges, and they are often humbled by the resilience, strength and compassion they witness. As a result of this unique patient journey, CNS teams are able to establish a long-lasting relationship that is built on trust.


Our Gynaecology Cancer CNS Team, Nicky Plant , Abi Campsall, Helen Farnhill and Anna Kirk said: "Our team specialises in looking after people with gynaecological cancers, this includes ovarian, cervix, endometrial, vulval and vaginal cancers. We meet patients at diagnosis and stay involved with them throughout their care pathway, supporting them in a range of settings from outpatient appointments, inpatient wards and from home. Their treatment may include surgery, radiotherapy, SACT and throughout, providing best supportive care.

“Our role in this journey is to provide holistic specialist support and advice to patients and their loved ones. In order to do this, we work with all disciplines, across acute trusts and with community health care providers to pull together a coordinated service delivery.”


Photo of Rachel a Breast Cancer Clinical Nurse Specialist Nurse

Rachel King Breast CNS said: “I’ve been a CNS in Breast Cancer for the last 7 years - and I love my job. I wanted a career that I was passionate about, that was interesting and would make a difference in the lives of others. Ensuring that patients know that there is a trustworthy honest professional by their side is my priority.

“The role entails providing holistic care and emotional support for patients and their families, coordinating care services and advising patients on clinical and practical issues. I have specific skills and specialised knowledge in breast cancer care and key skills, such as being able to undertake breast examination and supporting and working alongside clinicians in clinic. I strive to maintain involvement from diagnosis to survivorship and patient initiated follow up and Living Well and Beyond Cancer.

“I have a particular interest in younger people with breast cancer and the specific challenges that can face this group of patients. I am in awe of each and every patient and their resilience to what they face.

“I am extremely lucky to work within such a fantastic team and we are fortunate to also have fantastic facilities available to us at both Worcestershire Breast Unit and at Redditch Breast Unit. We are unique in that we have a charitable organisation that works closely with CNS to provide support that is not available from the NHS.”


Photo of our Head and Neck Cancer Clinical Nurse Specialists

Our Head and Neck CNS Team Catherine Ball, Donna Gilbert, Annabel Jacob and Emma Fowler (Support Worker)  said: “We are a small team of nurses who work with all patients diagnosed with head and neck cancer. As the 8th most common cancer, our caseload is fairly large and seems to be growing.

“We strive to meet our patients from the day of diagnosis and be there to guide them through the journey. It is a privilege to support them through what can be challenging and difficult treatment.

“We are all passionate that our patients receive the best care and are treated with compassion. The CNS role is diverse and ever-changing and often you have to think on your feet but to know that we make a difference to patients’ lives makes it so very rewarding.”


Photo of Clare Living with and Beyond Cancer CNS

Clare William Living with & Beyond Care (LWBC) CNS said “The purpose of the Macmillan Living With and Beyond Cancer Clinical Nurse Specialist role is to create a sustainable and equitable service to ensure the best outcomes for our patients at Worcestershire Acute Hospitals Trust. To enable our cancer patients to live well, with and beyond their cancer.

“My main roles include, increasing the use of Holistic Needs Assessments (HNA) being offered at key stages within a patient’s cancer care and ensuring that they are followed up with their needs and questions.

“Running health and wellbeing events alongside my LWBC colleagues provides a holistic approach to cancer care, and an environment to gain information, participate in group activities and get advice.

“I actively link in with Clinical Nurse Specialists in other tumour sites to offer Macmillan representation and assistance with support groups. I also participate in cancer related teaching to Worcestershire Acute Hospital NHS Trust staff in relation to the care of cancer patients and clinical development.

“I really love my job as it offers me the opportunity to work with patients at all stages of their care and across all tumour sites. Each day I learn something new from our remarkable patients and they show me courage, resilience and compassion. They are often going through the worse moments of their lives but they all somehow have the strength and determination to keep going. When I started nursing the odds of getting cancer was 1 in 3, now it is 1 in 2."


Photo of Upper Gastro-Intestinal CNS

The Upper Gastro-Intestinal Clinical Nurse Team Donna Traynor, Toby Mullett, Rebekah Hart, and Katie Beeton said: “We specialise in looking after people with cancers of the UGI tract, this includes the oesophagus, stomach, pancreas, gallbladder and liver. We first meet our patients at diagnosis and stay involved with them throughout their care pathway. Sometimes this will include chemotherapy, radiotherapy, surgery or best supportive care.

“Our patients may be going through curative treatment, or palliative treatment, and they may be at home, in hospital, attending outpatient appointments or receiving hospice care.

“Our role is to provide continuous specialist support and advice to my patients diagnosed with an UGI cancer, and also to their loved ones.”


Photo of Dawn Paediatric Oncology CNS with little girl and holding cake

Dawn Forbes Paediatric Oncology CNS said: “I have been the Children and Young People Oncology Nurse within this Trust for over 7 years. However, I have cared for children with cancer for over 26 years and am passionate about providing high quality, compassionate care.

“I have been lucky enough to also care for children in the Middle East and Canada, and have worked with some amazing professionals from all over the world.

“It is a privilege to be involved with, and be trusted by my patients and their families, as I help them navigate the journey they have unfortunately found themselves on.

“I consider myself lucky to work with an amazing, caring, and dedicated team of staff who care deeply about our patients and their families. Not only do they provide exemplary care, many of them help me to raise funds in their own time for the Children of Worcestershire Cancer Fund. This fund allows us to provide so many benefits such as social events, gifts, wheelchairs, etc. that it would otherwise not be possible to provide.

“It is such a pleasure to do what I do, and I am always in awe of the strength and resilience of the children I care for."


Photo of Helen Immunotherapy Clinical Nurse Specialist

Helen Grist Immunotherapy Clinical Nurse Specialist said: “My role as an Immunotherapy Cancer CNS is to manage the toxicities from immunotherapy drugs, otherwise known as checkpoint inhibitors. This treatment has been designed to work with the human immune system to identify cancer cells that express certain proteins to destroy them.

“Unfortunately, these type of drugs do cause side effects which require specialist management to prevent life threatening symptoms developing. I also see patients where they have been admitted due to toxicities, and manage a case load of outpatients.

“Working countywide and supporting the three chemotherapy units, I hold a nurse-led clinic in which I review patients prior to their cycles of treatment and also manage patient’s toxicities.

“I find myself involved in a lot of education and teaching which I enjoy, as I know this will help with understanding how best to identify and manage these patients. I have found this role incorporates my career in oncology which I have been fortunate to have worked in.

“I have worked with patients along the whole of their journey from diagnosis as an upper GI CNS to delivering and administering chemotherapy to working on oncology wards and end of life care as a palliative care CNS.”


Photo of Tom CNS


Tom Rees Haematology CNS / Nurse Practitioner said: “As a CNS I'm involved with treating patients and their families through treatment and beyond. Assisting patients whenever necessary is part of my daily routine. If it's following up on results and providing advice, or taking action, for example, organising blood/platelet transfusions, bone marrow biopsy, or expediting consultant appointments. In this challenging and rewarding role, no two days are the same. You are a part of a close team and have a variety of skills to call upon.

“I am committed to providing the best possible care for my patients. Embracing the Trust's culture of ‘continuous improvement’, I ensure I keep up with the latest best practices. This ensures that we always put patients first in everything we do.”


Photo of Colorectal Cancer CNS

Cara Warnock Colorectal CNS said: “My caseload comprises of patients on SACT (neo adjuvant, adjuvant and palliative). I work closely with the colorectal surgical CNS team to try to provide a seamless service for patients. I support the consultant oncologist clinics and also have nurse-led clinics. I have an MSc in Advanced practice and am a non-medical prescriber.

“My role is primarily to holistically support the patient through the pathway, to identify problems in a timely way, and liaise with teams within primary and secondary care to access all the services necessary. “


Photo of Michelle Cancer of unknown Primary CNS

Michelle Judge Cancer of Unknown Primary CNS said: “In my role as a CNS I feel one of my key roles is to maintain a high standard of communication with patients' families and the multi-disciplinary team. This in turn helps the patient experience during what can be a very stressful time in their cancer journey, particularly with a rare or undiagnosed cancer. Supporting patients gives me a great sense of satisfaction in that I can hopefully make a difference ...and that's what I love about my job as a CNS.”

Photo of Veronica Advance Prostate Cancer CNS

Veronica Rowlands Advanced Prostate Cancer CNS said: “I’m the Advanced prostate CNS for Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust and my role is to support men with advanced or metastatic prostate cancer. I work closely with the oncology consultants and the urology CNS team ensuring they get individualised holistic care. The aim of my role is to help maintain their quality of life, to live well throughout their treatment and to support them throughout their pathway. I also work with the palliative and primary care teams to provide a seamless transition of care when treatment stops.” 

Photo of Nikki Colorectal Cancer Clinical Nurse Specialist

Nikki Shelton Colorectal Cancer CNS said: “As a colorectal CNS for almost five years, I was inspired by a Lung Cancer CNS who helped my mom and myself when she was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. I couldn't have made it without her support and I'm now grateful to be able to offer this back to my patients.

“I love my job; every day is different. A few of the services we provide include: 2WW triage service - telephone assessment, followed by referrals and investigations.

“I am really pleased to be able to support patients who are newly diagnosed, and from post investigation, prior to MDT meeting. Our patients receive many treatments including; bowel resection, chemotherapy, or palliative care. During this process, patients and their families will receive advice, support, and assistance from our team, as well as access to specific support groups for both young and older patients.

“In the five years following the end of treatment, we provide follow-up support to our patients.”


Photo of Rosa Teenage Cancer Trust Clinical Liaison Nurse Specialist

Rosa Hooks Teenage Cancer Trust Clinical Liaison Nurse Specialist said: "I am passionate about my role as a Teenage Cancer Trust and Young Adult Clinical Liaison Nurse Specialist. Being located at the local designated hospitals, it is a privilege to support Teenagers and Young Adults who have been diagnosed with cancer. Having time to talk and get to know them as individuals and offering them age-appropriate support to empower them and their families through their cancer journey."


Are you interested in a career as a CNS?

If you'd like more information or help with any questions about CNSs or our current vacancies, please contact the Recruitment Team: +44 (0)1905 768937 or by email to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

To find out more about the current job vacancies click here: Current WAHT Jobs.