Caring receptionist improves treatment experience

Pictured from left: Gemma Healey, Senior Sister, Rebecca Manser, Chemotherapy Receptionist, Mr William Givens, patient, and Jacky Johnson, daughter of Mr Givens

A cancer centre receptionist has been recognised for her outstanding care and commitment. Rebecca Manser (pictured) works in the chemotherapy department at Royal Stoke, where she provides a warm welcome for patients and organises more than a hundred appointments a week. 80-year-old William Givens, of Sneyd Green, wanted to thank Rebecca for the difference she has made to him during his treatment for bowel cancer. Mr Givens had to undergo over five weeks of daily radiotherapy sessions, as well as chemotherapy treatments, to help tackle the disease. 

Mr Givens said: "Rebecca is so helpful and always cheerful. It can get quite complicated having so many appointments, but I never once came away from the Centre feeling confused about when my next appointment would be or what was happening with my care. She always took the time to explain everything to me thoroughly and this really helped to lessen my anxiety.  I'm very grateful for her help and care."

Mr Givens visited the hospital again recently with his daughter Jacky to present Rebecca with the UHNM Hero award.

Jacky said: "What's different about Rebecca is that this is clearly not just a job to her, you can tell she really cares about patients and sees them as individuals. She is just amazing because she manages to remember everything about people – who they're being treated under, what for and even when they prefer their appointments to be. This makes them feel really important and that they matter – they're not just a number in the system. Recently, Rebecca had just spent time arranging over five weeks' of radiotherapy appointments for my dad, but she still managed to remember when his next consultant appointment was - she didn't even have to look at her computer! I think that's the moment I realised just how brilliant she is. She makes patients feel reassured and cared for."

Rebecca said: "I have family who have undergone cancer treatment, so I have a good idea of what it feels like to be on the other side of the fence. I know how stressful and upsetting a cancer diagnosis and the subsequent treatment can be, but also how much difference the little things can make to people. I always try to remember this when I'm with patients – that it' the little things that count. If I can help to take the edge off the heartbreak, that's a good thing. I'm absolutely overjoyed to get this award, it's so lovely to be recognised and to see William looking so well."

Mr Givens has now finished his treatment and is looking forward to a well-deserved holiday in Ireland.