This year we awarded our first Skills Development Grant to enable a Clinical Nurse Specialist from Glasgow to attend the annual British Sarcoma Group Conference in Liverpool.

We spoke to the first ever recipient, Sarah Vaughn, to find out how our support for healthcare professionals facilitates early diagnosis and brings us one step closer to a cure for primary bone cancer.

Please introduce yourself and tell us a little about your role

My name is Sarah Vaughn, and I am the Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) for the Musculoskeletal Oncology Service at Glasgow Royal Infirmary. My work involves making sure that all referrals to us are discussed by our musculoskeletal multidisciplinary team in a timely manner.

This involves our consultant radiologists and orthopaedic surgeons reviewing a patient’s radiological imaging and clinical presentation to facilitate a diagnosis. It is my job to ensure that patient results are actioned and discussed by the national multidisciplinary team in order to establish a treatment plan.

I meet with patients in the clinic to discuss their diagnosis and treatment plan as their first point of contact. I look to support them in any way that I can.

Why was it important that you attended the 2022 British Sarcoma Group (BSG) conference?

It was important for me to attend as a new CNS in sarcoma. I wanted to meet others who also work in this rare tumour type and hear their shared experiences.

Because sarcoma is such a rare disease, it can feel quite isolating as a professional when there are not many contacts or resources available in your immediate area. Working collaboratively and understanding how different teams manage their patients is useful in making sure that we are optimising our patient treatment pathways.

What were the highlights of the conference for you?

Having the opportunity to meet other professionals and being able to listen to so many interesting presentations over the two days.

It was great to meet Zoe Davison (Head of Research, Support & Information at the Bone Cancer Research Trust) and hear how the educational resources are being used to help facilitate early diagnosis.

What difference did the funding from the Bone Cancer Research Trust make to you being able to attend?

It made all the difference. Without support from the Bone Cancer Research Trust, I would not have been able to attend. I work in a small unit, and we do not receive much funding. Support from this incredible charity made my attendance possible.

Is there anything you would like to say to our supporters?

Thank you. The support you give to the Bone Cancer Research Trust goes such a long way towards making a positive impact for bone cancer patients.

A charity such as this one is invaluable to both patients and working professionals in providing support, education, and pioneering research. The research that the Bone Cancer Research Trust funds helps find new treatments for bone cancer and supports early diagnosis by providing free education resources to GP’s and healthcare professionals. It is also the only charity to develop patient-focused information on all forms of bone cancer.

Without your vital support the charity would not have these opportunities to make such a powerful and positive impact in the diagnosis, treatment, management, and support of those impacted by this rare disease.

What would you say to someone considering applying for one of our Skills Development Grants?

I would say do it! The support and information that you will gain, whether you are proposing a research project or hoping to attend a conference to further your knowledge, is second to none.

Skills Development Grants underpin the charity’s core foundations of Research, Information, Awareness and Support by providing opportunities for healthcare workers to collaborate and achieve the best outcomes possible as we work towards a cure for primary bone cancer.

You can find out more about our Skills Development Grants and how to apply by clicking below

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