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Meet the cancer nurse specialists

Michelle Lewington

Sarcoma and cancer of unknown primary

Gemma Smith


Amy Sibbons

Uro-oncology clinical nurse specialist

Colchester Hospital

As a newly-qualified nurse I worked on an orthopaedic ward at Colchester Hospital.

I had always had a passion for oncology so after I had been qualified 18 months I decided to pursue my ambition of working in oncology and was lucky enough to be given a position at Jefferson ward at Essex County Hospital where I worked for two years as a staff nurse.

After two years at the hospital, I visited the CNS team at Colchester and was appointed in a developmental role as their support CNS. Once I had learnt the ropes and developed my knowledge I was promoted to a clinical nurse specialist.

During my time as a CNS I have attended many conferences, been involved in service development, ran nurse led clinics, completed a Masters in advanced healthcare practice and qualified as a non-medical prescriber.

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Lucy Powell

Uro-oncology. Specialist areas: prostate, testis, penile cancer

Colchester Hospital

I have been employed by Colchester Hospital since qualifying in 1994, and have worked in many hospital areas, but have specialised in urology.

I have a MSC in advanced clinical practice (uro-oncology) and review patient information for Prostate Cancer UK and sit on their education advisory committee.  I am also a Trustee of the British Association of Urology Nurses.


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Rachel Minter


Colchester Hospital

I qualified in 1994 after completing Project 2000 registered nurse training in Colchester.  I initially worked at Guys and St Thomas’s hospital in gynaecology, and my first post motivated me to pursue my interest in oncology.

On my return to Colchester I started nursing in oncology at Essex County Hospital and remained there for several years developing my skills by working in different roles as registered nurse, deputy sister and ward sister.  I also completed my degree in palliative care, which further inspired me.

The knowledge and experience I gained in these roles all contributed to my development and transition to be a uro-oncology CNS.

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Andrea Nears

Secondary/advanced breast cancer

Colchester Hospital

I qualified as a registered nurse in September 1998 at Northumbria University at Newcastle. I have worked on medical wards and then moved to Essex. At Colchester Hospital I have worked in the outpatients department including the oncology clinics, and then worked in oncology clinical trials conducting breast cancer trials.
I joined the breast team in June 2016 as a secondary breast clinical nurse specialist. My role involves supporting patients with secondary/advanced breast cancer from the point of diagnosis throughout their treatment.
I also run nurse led treatment clinics to administer bone strengthening injections and monitor the side effects. I have gained considerable knowledge and experience since working in this role.
I have completed the ‘principles of breast cancer care’ module at the Royal Marsden Hospital.

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Angela Haigh

Breast Cancer

Colchester Hospital

I qualified as a registered general nurse in April 2004 at Anglia Ruskin University in Chelmsford and Colchester Hospital. I worked as a staff nurse for six months on a surgical ward specialising in vascular surgery, followed by three years as a staff nurse on a breast and gynaecological ward.

I joined the breast team in July 2007 as a breast clinical nurse specialist. My role involves supporting patients diagnosed with breast cancer and the BRCA gene mutation through diagnosis, treatment and after treatment. I also run my own nurse led clinics in lymphoedema assessment and management, prosthesis fitting and nipple tattooing. I have a special interest in breast cancer genetics, breast reconstruction and survivorship.
Education and training: MSc Advanced Cancer nursing practice – Royal Marsden and St George’s University London
BSc (HONS) in cancer practice – Royal Marsden and Thames Valley University London
Registered General Nurse – Anglia Ruskin University, Chelmsford


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Joanne O'Callaghan

Primary breast cancer with special interest in breast cancer-related lymphodaema

Colchester Hospital

I have worked within this role at Colchester for the past 8 years, gaining knowledge through both experience and formal qualifications.
I initially became interested in breast cancer and completed the Level 6 module at the Royal Marsden Hospital while working in the private sector.
In recent years I have completed a Postgraduate Certificate at level 7 in Healthcare (Cancer) at St George’s Hospital Medical School.
My role involves working with and supporting patients as a keyworker when diagnosed with primary breast cancer. I support them throughout their treatment journey as appropriate.
Prior to this I have worked at different grades in surgical, medical and intensive care wards having initially qualified in Kettering, Northamptonshire in 1984.
I have an interest in lymphoedema secondary to breast cancer and run the service with a colleague.

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Kathy Rooke


Colchester Hospital

I trained at Broomfield Hospital in 1989 and left to travel in South Africa for 6 months. On my return I took up a full time post as a staff nurse (and was promoted to senior staff nurse) at the Essex Nuffield in Brentwood. I left in October 1997 to take up a full time post as a research sister – breast care, working between Colchester and Chelmsford breast units.  My responsibilities included recruiting to and co-ordinating/managing several breast research studies. I continued in this role for the following 16 years.

I left Chelmsford in October 2013 to take up full time work at Colchester, continuing with breast research 2 days per week, but also taking up a new role simultaneously as breast clinical nurse specialist 3 days per week. In October 2016 I left the research role to become a full time breast CNS nursing. I have worked at Colchester with the breast team for over 20 years.

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Kay Selfe

Upper GI oncology (cancer) includes cancer of the oesophagus, stomach, pancreas, bile duct, liver, gall bladder and small bowel

Colchester Hospital

I have worked as the UGI CNS for Colchester Hospital since 2011, prior to this I was the UGI CNS for Ipswich Hospital from 2004.

I have worked in oncology (cancer) my entire nursing career. I qualified in 1991, having trained at Colchester. My first role was as a staff nurse at Essex County Hospital on the oncology ward. Since then I have worked as a palliative care nurse at St Helena Hospice and as a chemotherapy nurse at Ipswich Hospital before becoming a CNS.

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Louise Cook

Upper Gastro-intestinal

Maggie Braithwaite

Uro-oncology, urology

Colchester Hospital

I came to Colchester in 1986 to commence my nurse training. I qualified in 1989 and found throughout my training I had a particular interest in working within a surgical environment.

In 1995 I was recruited as deputy sister within the Urology Ward where I worked for 10 years. Subsequently, after Colchester Hospital won the Urology Cancer Centre bid in 2004 / 2005, a post became available for an additional urology cancer nurse specialist to develop a new service for bladder and kidney cancer patients.

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Natalie Wheatley

Surgery and cancer

Colchester Hospital

I qualified in October 2004, having undertaken the degree programme at Anglia Polytechnic University. I have worked for Colchester Hospital since I qualified.  I spent the first 18 months working as a staff nurse in care of the elderly, A&E, general surgery and orthopaedics.

From April 2006 until January 2009 I worked as staff nurse on the oncology inpatient ward.  From 2009 until 2017, I was a research nurse, caring for patients undergoing clinical trials in both cancer and non-cancer studies.

Since May 2017, I have been employed as a colorectal clinical nurse specialist, caring for patients with a colon, rectal or anal cancer with regards to both surgery and oncology.  I look after patients throughout their cancer treatment, whether it is with a curative or palliative intent.  I also support the bowel cancer follow up clinic.

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Jan Edwards

Brain/Teenagers and young adults

Sally Philpott

Head and neck cancer, thyroid cancer

Colchester Hospital, Clacton Hospital, Essex County Hospital

I began working at Colchester Hospital in 2002 as the head and neck clinical nurse specialist. Prior to this I had worked solely in the field of ENT / head and neck cancer nursing.

My previous job was at Broomfield Hospital in Chelmsford as ward sister on the head and neck surgical ward. Within my role here in Colchester I support patients and their carers who have cancer in their mouth, throat, tongue, jaw, voice box and neck. I also provide support for patients with thyroid cancer.

I meet patients when they are diagnosed and provide a means of support both in person and via telephone before, during and after treatment.  Treatment is often complex with multiple side effects and consequences; my role means that I am able to help patients and their families find ways to manage these effectively.

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Jessica Thompson

Head and neck

Colchester Hospital

I joined ESNEFT in August 2018, having completed my nurse training at Colchester Hospital in 2010.
I work within Head & Neck, which covers cancers of the ear, nose, throat and oral-maxillofacial.
I worked at Broomfield Hospital for 5 years prior to this, working in the same speciality but including plastic surgery. It was a post-operative ward for surgical patients, including those requiring a tracheostomy. I worked as a staff nurse there for 2 years and was then promoted to deputy sister for a further 3 years before moving to ESNEFT.

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Victoria Clark

Macmillan lung cancer clinical nurse specialist

Colchester Hospital

I qualified as a registered general nurse in 1992 after completing my training at Colchester Hospital. My background is oncology nursing, having previously worked as a chemotherapy nurse, oncology clinical trials nurse and Macmillan lung cancer clinical nurse specialist.

I have completed MSc in healthcare practice and work closely with the oncology and thoracic medicine teams.

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Gina Moss

Gynaecology clinical nurse specialist


I began my nursing career on Jefferson Ward at Essex County Hospital, in 2011, where I worked as a staff nurse.

I then became Deputy Sister on Rhys Lewis Ward before moving to West Bergholt Ward at Colchester Hospital CGH, following the closure of Essex County Houspital. This formed the basis of my passion for Oncology.

Following this I worked as Clinical Skills Nurse for Cancer Services, expanding my knowledge in Oncology care and all aspects of a patient’s journey.

While in this post I was seconded into two different CNS roles, in Gynae-oncology, and as part of the Acute Oncology Service.

One of these secondments helped me rediscover my love for Gynaecology, and I am now the Lead Gynaecology Oncology CNS for Colchester.

I am in the progress of setting up nurse lead telephone clinics for follow-up patients, and am looking forward to starting the “Principals of Gynaecological Cancer Care” at The Royal Marsden School.”


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Roksana Morgan-Fisher

Colorectal CNS

Kris Dungka

Colorectal CNS

Amanda Sayer

Colorectal clinical nurse specialist

I have worked for Colchester Hospital since May 2017.  Prior to this I worked as a nurse endoscopist at Ipswich Hospital for 12 years. I am now a CNS in the colorectal team in Ipswich

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Deo Boodoo

General Haematology

Linda Sherman

General Haematology

Carl Badger-Watts


Paolo Zabat


Julie Reynolds



I qualified as a staff nurse in 1996 and began my career as a junior staff nurse on one of the oncology wards. After progressing to senior staff nurse, I further extended my role as clinical skills nurse for oncology. I then developed to junior sister and then to ward sister of Jefferson Ward.
During my time as ward sister I completed my palliative care degree and in 2011 began 7 years with the palliative care team taking special interest in the education of palliative care within the trust. I have recently moved into the urology team as clinical nurse specialist

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Laurie Rose


Shelley Pledger

Acute Oncology Clinical Nurse Specialist


Colchester was one of the first “pilot sites” to set up an acute oncology service 6 years ago. I am based in the busy emergency assessment unit and see patients admitted directly with complications from their cancer or cancer treatments.
I have worked for the trust for over 30 years in various roles and have experience with in-patient surgical, medical, palliative, oncology and out-patient chemotherapy administration.

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Emma Brown

Stoma care

Colchester Hospital, Clacton Hospital, Harwich Hospital, Community and home visits

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