New doctor to help with cancer nursing

New doctor to help with cancer nursing

7 February 2018

THE South Eastern Trust has made a new appointment to help improve cancer care for patients and their families.

Dr Cherith Semple has been appointed as a Reader in Clinical Cancer Nursing with the post the first of its kind in Northern Ireland and one of just a handful across the UK, with the flagship role jointly funded by the Trust and Ulster University.

Widely regarded as a nurse who delivers high quality care on the frontline, Dr Semple also embraces research and innovation to drive forward improvements in nursing care. 

A clinical academic nurse, Dr Semple will lead projects to improve care for patients and their families with cancer, using evidence generated from international research studies.  

In her new role, she will maximise opportunities for supporting clinical nursing colleagues to develop their research skills, supervise PhD students, impact teaching programmes for nurses, while providing direct care for patients and their families newly diagnosed with head and neck cancer at the Ulster Hospital.

“As a cancer nurse, I am excited and keen to take on this innovative partnership role,” Dr Semple said. “This new post provides a tremendous opportunity, with the synergy generated from the clinical and research interface, facilitating patient-centred research for people with cancer and their families. 

“Collaborations such as this can focus on improving healthcare outcomes, enabling healthcare professionals to deliver the highest quality care. I look forward to working with colleagues across both organisations and beyond’’.

Professor Sonja McIlfatrick, who heads up the Ulster University’s School of Nursing, said the organisation was delighted to welcome Cherith to the new role, while Professor Tanya McCance, the university’s Research Director for Nursing and Health Sciences, said the university was excited about the potential of the new clinical academic role.

Nicki Patterson, the South Eastern Trust’s Director of Nursing, Older People and Primary Care, described the new role as a “great example” of how nursing provides career opportunities which can span direct clinical practice, research and teaching for the benefit of patients and the profession’s knowledge base. 

“Nurses often grapple with having to choose between continuing to engage in direct clinical practice or moving away from the ‘bedside’ as their career progresses,” she said. “Posts such as this enable the nurse to continue to deliver expert direct clinical care whilst also taking a leading role in developing the evidence base for the future. 

“As we progress with transformation of services in Northern Ireland, this role and others like it will become all the more important to shape the future of how services are designed and delivered with and for our population. Nurses are well placed to lead the transformation of health care and this post is an exemplar of how this can be achieved.”