Louise Gilham has been appointed as a new Mesothelioma Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) to support patients across Kent.

Mesothelioma is a form of deadly cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. The UK has the highest incidences of the disease in the world. There were around 178* patients diagnosed with mesothelioma in the Kent area during 2015-2016.

Louise will be based at Tunbridge Wells Hospital in Pembury, which forms part of the Kent Oncology Centre. This new post has been made possible through funding from Mesothelioma UK, a national charity dedicated to this asbestos-related cancer, with support from Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust.

In addition to clinical care for patients, Louise will also support the teams of healthcare professionals throughout Kent helping to optimise patient access to treatments and promoting clinical trials.

Louise completed her nurse training in Portsmouth and has been a nurse for almost 30 years. For the last 20 years, she has worked with lung cancer and mesothelioma patients.

In 2000, Louise successfully set up one of the first lung cancer clinical nurse specialist posts with Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust before taking up the role of Lead Oncology Nurse at Kent Oncology Centre.

Louise has also implemented nurse-led clinics for mesothelioma patients and is the chair of the Kent and Medway Lung Cancer Nurses Forum.

As an active member of the National Lung Cancer Forum for Nurses, Louise is determined to deliver improvements in the care and management of patients with mesothelioma and lung cancer.

Commenting on her new role, Louise said: “I’m delighted to join Mesothelioma UK’s dedicated team of Clinical Nurse Specialists.

“I’m truly passionate about improving care for mesothelioma patients and have many years of experience to bring to this role including contributions to national practice guidelines.

“In addition to my clinical role, I’m looking forward to working with other agencies and charities to advise patients and carers on matters like welfare benefits and support groups.”

Liz Darlison, Mesothelioma UK Director of Services and Consultant Nurse at University Hospitals Leicester, added “I am delighted to welcome Louise to Mesothelioma UK, a passionate and dedicated team that is having a remarkable impact across the UK. With the significant number of mesothelioma patients in and around Kent, Louise will focus on patient care, encouraging more clinical trials and research to take place, and taking the lead to support and educate more people on all aspects of mesothelioma.”

*This is anticipated figure, using available data to date.

Photo: Mesothelioma Clinical Nurse Specialist, Louise Gilham

About Mesothelioma UK:
Mesothelioma UK is a national resource centre dedicated to providing specialist mesothelioma information, support and improved care and treatment for all UK mesothelioma patients, their carers and health care professionals. The centre promotes the development of Specialist Mesothelioma Nursing practice and funds 18 specialist nursing posts around the UK.

Mesothelioma UK Charitable Trust is based in Leicester. Our services are free of charge and we rely entirely on donations, legacies, fundraising and sponsorship for financial support. For more information, visit www.mesothelioma.uk.com, email info@mesothelioma.uk.com or call the freephone helpline number on 0800 169 2409 (Monday – Friday 8:30am – 4:30pm).

For press enquiries, please contact:
Simon Gribbon, on behalf of Mesolthelioma UK
M: 07990 583371
E: simon@sandstarcomms.com