Cancer Nurse reflects on the past year for International Nurses Day 2021

IT’S been a tough year for nurses and Michelle Fletcher, Macmillan lead cancer nurse based at Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust has been giving us a personal insight into what it’s been like on the front line of cancer care and support over the past year to mark International Nurses Day (May 12).

She told me: “The pandemic had a big impact on how we were able to support patients, we had to respond very quickly to new ways of working like having online consultations, providing support over the phone and wearing lots of PPE when we were able to see patients face to face.

“As you can imagine stress levels rose all round, understandably patients had lots of additional concerns about their cancer treatment and the impact of Covid. Like workplaces up and down the country we had the added pressure and worry when our colleagues caught Covid.

“Importantly, the pandemic has made us even more aware of how we need to look after each other as well as our patients.”

We are so grateful to all nurses working in Rotherham for the care, compassion and sheer professionalism they have shown in coping with the additional pressures brought about by the pandemic.

At Macmillan we are doing whatever it takes to support our nurses as well as patients and the goodwill and support of the public will help us to achieve that goal.

The pandemic has had a devastating impact on Macmillan’s income, we anticipate a loss of around a third of our fundraising revenue this year. Last year alone we lost £1 million in Yorkshire because of the pandemic, and for this reason we launched our Yorkshire Appeal and every donation received will stay in the region and give vital support to those who need it.

If you’d like to read more about the appeal, please visit our website’s Yorkshire Appeal section and if you’d like to be involved, please call our Fundraising Support Centre on 0300 1000 200 or email [email protected]

Anyone diagnosed with cancer can contact the Macmillan Support Line seven days a week on 0808 808 00 00 or visit the Macmillan website (