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Pioneers celebrated at Wales’ only dedicated cancer awards

Moondance Cancer Awards 2024

Moondance Cancer Initiative has recognised individuals and teams across Wales for their outstanding achievements in cancer services at the second Moondance Cancer Awards.

A total of three individuals and eight teams were awarded accolades across 10 different categories for their brave work and dedication towards improving cancer services in Wales.

The Moondance Cancer Awards – Wales’ only dedicated Cancer awards – aim to celebrate and spotlight individuals and teams across NHS Wales and its partners who deliver, lead and innovate cancer services.

Winners include teams from Cardiff and Vale University Health Board (CAVUHB), Swansea Bay University Health Board (SBUHB), Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board (CTMUHB), Aneurin Bevan University Hospital Board, Powys Teaching Health Board (PTHB), Hywel Dda University Health Board (HDUHB), Velindre Cancer Centre, Life Sciences Hub Wales and Tenovus Cancer Care, alongside others.

Among the winning projects are Swansea Bay’s 3D-printed Eye Shields for Radiotherapy, designed for radiotherapy patients receiving cancer treatment to areas in close proximity to the eye, named winner of the Working Together award; the Expansion of Teenage and Young Adult Cancer Service, run by the Teenage Cancer Trust and Cardiff and Vale UHB, awarded as joint winner of Better Patient Experience alongside Hywel Dda’s Prostate Active Care Together (P.A.C.T), which has seen the introduction of a dedicated rehabilitation service  for people with prostate cancer, empowering them to deal with the impact of the disease and the side effects of their treatment.

QuicDNA, developed by the All Wales Medical Genomics Service in collaboration with a multitude of partners, was awarded the accolade for Working with Industry and 3rd Sector in the Innovation and Improvement category. The pioneering project uses liquid biopsy testing upon suspicion of lung cancer to accelerate access to targeted treatments.

The outstanding contribution made by the late Tassia Haines, and her campaigning colleagues was recognised in the Patient & Public Participation & Involvement category. Diagnosed with secondary metastatic breast cancer at 28, Tassia campaigned successfully for changes to the way metastatic breast cancer patients are cared for in Wales.  The award was given posthumously to her husband, Nick Haines, alongside the secondary breast cancer community that she supported and was one of.

Three other individuals were recognised for their excellence in leading change and improvement in cancer services: Kara Price, Transformation Programme Manager at Powys Teaching HB, for the Systems and Pathways award; Rachel Lewis, Allied Health Professional Lead at Hywel Dda UHB, for the Non-medical & Nursing award; and Ms Zoe Barber, Consultant Oncoplastic Breast Surgeon at Cwm Taf Morgannwg UHB, for the Medical award.

Discussing her win of the Medical award, Ms Zoe Barber said: Speaking on this, Ms Zoe Barber said: “This win is a credit to our whole team, and not just me as an individual. I’m so proud to be working in a team that fosters a culture of collaboration, striving to change and improve cancer outcomes in Wales. It’s so joyous for all the hard to be recognised here tonight.”

This year’s winners were judged by an esteemed panel of experts and leaders including: Professor Tom Crosby, Cancer Clinical Director for Wales; Cari-Anne Quinn, CEO of Life Sciences Hub Wales; Judith Paget CBE, Director General of Health & Social Services & Chief Executive of NHS Wales and Professor Kamilla Hawthorne, GP & Chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners.

Commenting on the Moondance Cancer Awards, Dr Rob Orford, CEO of Moondance Cancer Initiative, said: “The awards were created to both celebrate and thank the people who have dedicated their time to improving and pioneering detection, diagnosis and treatment pathways across cancer services in Wales. We hope that by shining a spotlight on these people, we can help inspire tomorrow’s solutions for survival. We’re so pleased that so many people from across health care in Wales came to celebrate with us. Congratulations to the winners and to everyone who was nominated across Wales.

“These awards really showcase that improvement is both possible and is happening across Wales’ cancer services. At Moondance, we find, fund and fuel brilliant people with brave ideas to improve cancer outcomes for Wales. If you, or your team, is interested in discussing an idea, please get in touch with us, we’d love to hear from you.”