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Nurse from Northampton General Hospital honoured with Unsung Hero award for her work in Children's cancer services

MR13.05.2024: Gemma with her prize

Gemma collecting her national award

A local nurse has been recognised with a national award from the Children’s Cancer and Leukaemia Group for how she inspires her team.  

Children’s Macmillan Nurse Lead Gemma Stockton had no idea that she was nominated for an award when she attended the Children’s Cancer and Leukaemia Annual Conference. She received the Unsung Hero award for inspiring others in her team and was overwhelmed by the win. Gemma said: “I felt very loved – and I couldn’t do this without the team around me. They inspire me! I’m so pleased that the award came from Northampton General as one of the smaller specialised centres”. 

Gemma always wanted to be a nurse ever since watching hospital programmes on TV as a child. She has now worked at the hospital for 23 years and has seen improved success rates in the treatment of childhood cancer. She has also had the privilege to meet some of her patients who are now healthy adults with children of their own. Whilst sometimes the job can be incredibly sad, it is rewarding to work together to provide emotional and psychological support to children and their families. 

Dr Bindu Koodiyedath Paediatric Consultant at the hospital explained why Gemma deserved the recognition: “Gemma has gone over and beyond to support children to have their wish of end of life at home even though that service is not commissioned in the county. She has been in muddy fields with end-of-life patients ensuring they get to do what they love, providing families with the ability to make amazing memories. She has organised Christmas parties for all children with an oncology diagnosis from Northamptonshire consecutively for the last 5 years and it has become a huge success. Gemma is a real Unsung Hero….a true gem.”  

Northampton General Hospital has a small but highly specialised Children's Oncology unit, where children can receive their chemotherapy onsite, saving families from having to travel long distances when their children are experiencing the side effects of chemotherapy. The difference that this makes to families is immense as travelling with a sick child for long treatment appointments can make a difficult situation so much worse. In the UK, only five general hospitals have this facility for children and Northampton General is proud to be one of those supporting local families during difficult times. 

In the future, Gemma wants to keep on growing the service at Northampton General hospital to provide the best possible support for local children and their families.

Posted on Monday 13th May 2024
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