12 July 2021 | Firm news | Article by Richard Green
A highly experienced Clinical Nurse Specialist in Mesothelioma has joined Hugh James to provide expert advice and support to many people whose lives have been blighted by the asbestos-related terminal cancer.
Rachel Thomas moves from her longstanding role at Guy’s and St Thomas’s NHS Foundation Trust, where she has spent over 12 years as a Lung Cancer/Mesothelioma Clinical Nurse Specialist.
She becomes an integral part of the Hugh James specialist asbestos team, which is one of the largest legal teams of its kind in the UK. Joining as a mesothelioma nurse advisor, Rachel will provide invaluable expert advice and support to mesothelioma clients and their families, throughout the cancer journey – which can be stressful, confusing, and isolating. She will also work closely with the support groups the firm works in partnership with, including HASAG, the Mavis Nye Foundation, and the national asbestos charity, Mesothelioma UK.
The role of a Clinical Nurse Specialist forms an integral part of patient care, drawing on expert knowledge and skills developed in a specific area. The clinical nurse specialist advises patients on treatment options and clinical trials. It has been demonstrated that patients with access to a clinical nurse specialist have far better access to treatment. The clinical nurse specialist also supports patients going through treatment by educating them on the risks and benefits of treatment and how to monitor potential side effects and report these in a timely manner.
Drawing on knowledge and skills developed over 12 years, Rachel will be very well placed to provide expert advice to patients with mesothelioma and their families and will be able to signpost patients to the appropriate services to ensure they receive gold standard holistic care from the point of diagnosis.
Rachel has worked in the NHS for 22 years, holds an MSc in Health Care Research, is part of the Asbestos Sub-committee at the UK Parliament and has been a proactive member of the Lung Cancer Nursing UK committee. Rachel has worked in collaboration with Mesothelioma UK who part-funded her role for the last 6 years.
Commenting on her arrival, Rachel Thomas said today: “I’m delighted to be joining the Hugh James team, who I have worked with over a number of years and hold in high regard for their patient care and commitment. I look forward to developing the nursing role within the mesothelioma team in order to continue raising the high standards of client care provided by Hugh James.”
Speaking of this exciting new appointment, Partner and Head of the Asbestos team, Richard Green, said today:
“It’s fantastic news, for us and all our clients, that someone of Rachel’s calibre, track record and passion is joining Hugh James. When we support individuals and families affected by cancer caused by asbestos exposure, it’s important for us to take a holistic approach. It’s not just technical, legal advice people need when making a claim like this – they need someone to talk to, to share their concerns, and be listened to throughout the claim process. Rachel brings her wealth of experience and nursing background to this important client support role and that’s why she’s such an important addition to our team.”
Rachel will be primarily based in the Hugh James London office but will support clients across the UK and from its other UK bases, in Cardiff, Cambridge, Southampton and Plymouth.
To find out more about our asbestos team, visit our dedicated page.