NHS Borders cancer nurse specialist Judith Smith has been awarded an MBE in the Queens New Years honours list for 2015.
Judith received the award for her outstanding service to the Borders community, firstly as Macmillan Haematology/Oncology Clinical Nurse Specialist and then as Macmillan Nurse Consultant in Cancer and Palliative Care at NHS Borders.
Judith, originally from Galashiels, started her career as a Staff Nurse in the Royal Infirmary, Edinburgh 30 years ago, moving back to the Borders in 1990.
Since 1998 she has been involved in the development of cancer services in NHS Borders. In particular she has championed the development of a nurse led chemotherapy service in the Borders Macmillan Centre which now treats over 95% of patients locally, saving them the trip to Edinburgh.
A recent national audit of the chemotherapy service commended the unit on several fronts highlighting the “innovative leadership and team working within and out with the unit”.
Judith said: “to be awarded this honour has been an overwhelming experience. I was shocked when I received the letter thinking initially it was for jury service, and then that it was a joke!”
Judith is a dedicated and enthusiastic professional and has been recognised as a clinical expert in the field of cancer nursing.
She has remained committed to the continuing development of cancer and palliative care services and the delivery of consistently high standards of care to patients with cancer and their families and carers.
In her present role as Nurse Consultant Judith has a broad remit and is currently focusing on developing services for patients following treatment and for those admitted as emergencies.
She was keen to point out that cancer care is provided for patients, not just in specialist areas by specialist teams, but right across community and hospital settings by a huge variety of teams and people.
She added: “I see it as a team award which reflects the hard work and commitment of so many people past and present as well as NHS Borders’ commitment to cancer care.
“I consider myself very lucky to have worked with many dedicated people over the years.”