A BASINGSTOKE nurse has won a national award for her work with patients suffering from a rare type of cancer.

Sam Westbrook, a clinical nurse specialist for rare asbestos-related cancer, was declared the winner of a British Journal of Nursing (BJN) award at a ceremony held on March 24.

Sam, who works at the Peritoneal Malignancy Institute Basingstoke, which is part of Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (HHFT), is the UK’s first peritoneal mesothelioma clinical nurse specialist and was crowned winner in the Oncology Nurse of the Year category for the 2023 BJN awards.

READ MORE: More than 50,000 patients a year avoid A&E thanks to new initiative

The award recognises nurses who have made a demonstrable improvement to the delivery of cancer patient care.

Sam’s post has been funded by national asbestos-related cancer charity, Mesothelioma UK, since 2018 and she works to ensure all patients have access to the best care and treatment options available for this rare and complex cancer.

Mesothelioma is a cancer related to exposure to asbestos and around 2,700 people are diagnosed each year.

It can affect the lining of the lungs or, in around 10 per cent of cases, the lining of the abdomen.

Basingstoke hospital is the largest centre in the world for treating patients with peritoneal malignancies. Although based in Basingstoke, Sam works on a national scale, taking referrals from across the UK.

SEE ALSO: 'We need action now' - call made to improve GP services in Basingstoke

Leah Taylor, head of nursing for Mesothelioma UK, said the team is “so proud” of Sam.

She added: “It is testament to her hard work and dedication to improving the lives of those affected by peritoneal mesothelioma. Sam has been pivotal in raising the profile of the disease among the healthcare professionals and ensuring patients get the best possible treatment and care.”

Julie Dawes, chief nurse at HHFT, said: “It is a credit to her incredible work to provide the best possible care to patients with this rare form of cancer, and we are extremely proud of the difference Sam makes to her patients every day.”