Mesothelioma nurses hear about IOSH’s campaign to tackle asbestos-related cancer

Specialist mesothelioma nurses have heard how the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) is working with organisations to tackle asbestos-related cancer globally through its No Time to Lose campaign.

The ‘Clinical Nurse Specialists (CNS) Professional Forum’ was organised by Mesothelioma UK, a charity and national specialist resource centre, specifically for the asbestos-related cancer, mesothelioma. It took place on 28 November in Manchester.

In Britain, around 2,500 people die every year from mesothelioma, an incurable cancer caused by asbestos exposure. Research also suggests that around 20 tradespeople die a week from this disease.

Mesothelioma UK CNS Team Leader Lorraine Creech said:

“Mesothelioma UK integrates into NHS front line services to ensure specialist mesothelioma nursing is available at the point of need.

“This is achieved through a growing network of specialist mesothelioma nurses, regionally based in NHS hospitals and funded by Mesothelioma UK. This hub and spoke approach is providing 24 clinical nurse specialist across the UK.

“Asbestos awareness is vital to this vision.”

The Mesothelioma UK Clinical Nurse Specialist Professional Forum is led by the Mesothelioma UK CNS Team Leaders and the Mesothelioma UK Head of Services.

The purpose of the forum is:

  • To contribute to the development of Mesothelioma UK nursing and delivery of mesothelioma nursing services throughout the UK.
  • To act as a forum for sharing best practice, developing nurse leadership skills, sharing information and peer support.
  • To assist Mesothelioma UK in the implementation and delivery of the five year strategy – Dedicated to Making Mesothelioma Matter.
  • To act as a clinical interface between the charity and the NHS/Clinical setting.

IOSH Vice-President Tim Eldridge presented IOSH’s No Time to Lose campaign, which seeks to raise awareness of cancer-causing substances including asbestos, and help businesses take action by providing free practical resources.

At the event, Tim highlighted the findings from a recent IOSH survey to 500 tradespeople in the UK which found that a quarter say they have been exposed to asbestos, only two-thirds of respondents recognise the signs of lung disease caused by asbestos exposure, and nearly one in five wouldn’t know what to do if they found asbestos.

Tim said:

“The survey findings clearly highlight the need for better education and awareness on the health risks from asbestos exposure.

“Our No Time to Lose campaign provides businesses with a range of free resources on how to manage asbestos and engage employees on this important issue.

“We are delighted to be working with our campaign supporter Mesothelioma UK by providing specialist mesothelioma nurses with the No Time to Lose resources to help spread the word.

“Our campaign is currently backed by over 290 organisations worldwide and more than 115 businesses have signed up to our pledge, a six-step plan to capture the key actions a business is already doing, or planning to do, to manage carcinogenic exposures at work.

“We believe by working together we can beat occupational cancer.”  

At the forum a number of important topics were also discussed including the risk of suicide after a cancer diagnosis in England, mesothelioma clinical trials, and the Armed Forces project which shows around eight veterans per month are claiming war pension due to a diagnosis of mesothelioma.

To find out more about the ‘Mesothelioma UK CNS Professional Forum’ visit www.mesothelioma.uk.com

For more information on IOSH’s No Time to Lose campaign and to download free resources to prevent asbestos-related cancer, go to www.notimetolose.org.uk