Barbara Machin, York
My name is Barbara Machin, I’m a Macmillan
Specialist Dietitian and I work in York hospital
in North Yorkshire. What I try to achieve
is to make sure that diet and nutrition is
recognised as a key part, an essential part
of supporting people with cancer. I’ve tried
to take opportunities to influence things,
not only locally but regionally and nationally
and it is about sharing knowledge, it’s about
contributing what you know to the wider body.
Barbara has been very influential. She has
developed wonderful relationships throughout
the hospital with really key influential people
and has been able to change the way that we
deliver services. She’s a key member of the
local cancer board, people are very willing
to engage with her suggestions, one of which
was to re-write the whole strategy because
it had omitted certain staff groups and the
contribution they could make. She is absolutely
to be relied on to explore every avenue to
make things better for patients.
I’m Peter Heald and I had tonsillar cancer.
As a result of the treatment, I can not eat
or swallow anything so I’m now depending on
my peg tube. I was introduced to Barbara at
the outset of my treatment; she has helped
me considerably coping with the feed. Having
Barbara there at the end of the telephone
is superb, you know you can relax, you know
that when she says she’s going to do something
she will do it. It makes me feel that there’s
somebody there to support me through what
I’m going through.
The patient will have many challenges returning
to normal life and if I can support them in
managing their nutrition then that is a contribution
well worth making.
Barbara is an excellent dietician but more
more than that; she absolutely has the patient
at the heart of everything she does and that’s
why she’s a good advocate, that’s why she’ll
challenge practice and that’s why I have nominated
her for this award.
Barbara has given me my life back; it’s fantastic
having the normality or as near normality
as I can get. People can’t understand, but
Barbara does, without doubt.