Health Professionals

Teenage Cancer Trust fund expert staff within our units and also provide funding for health professionals to develop their skills further, ensure our staff are supported and we invest in services in the aim that the best possible quality care is provided for all young people with cancer.

Teenage Cancer Trust funds a growing specialist team of professionals who work in our units, supporting young people across the UK.

Teenage Cancer Trust's services team work closely with our unit staff (Nurses and Youth Support Co-ordinators), clinical leads, health managers, commissioning groups and local Primary Care Trusts to plan the development and location of Teenage Cancer Trust units, and ensure the highest possible quality care is delivered and maintained.

We also fund several services for professionals in the field of Teenage and Young Adult cancer care.

  • The world’s only International Conference in the field of teenage and young adult cancer medicine

  • A Multidisciplinary Forum TYAC to help professionals work together to improve knowledge and services for young people with cancer

  • We fund the country's first Professor of Teenage Cancer Medicine

  • A post-graduate programme delivered by Coventry University providing a host of modules and courses for those working with Teenagers with Cancer.

Head of Nursing and Quality

"Nurses funded by Teenage Cancer Trust help to identify the impact of cancer on a young person, facilitating them to prioritise their needs, enabling them to continue life as they had hoped or supporting them to create their future lives.’’

Teenage Cancer Trust believes that nursing is fundamental to the delivery of high quality holistic care and as a consequence the two Head of Nursing and Quality posts are key members of our Services Team.

Their roles involve providing professional advice to the Charity on the nursing and quality agenda and supporting and developing funded staff to further improve quality and standards of care for TYA’s with cancer throughout the UK. They are currently working on the following projects:

  • Implementing a 5 year nursing strategy to consolidate and expand Teenage Cancer Trust nursing.
  • Defining core nursing roles and developing metrics to measure nursing impact and contribution.
  • Developing an education and research strategy for nursing.
  • Working collaboratively with senior managers and staff to produce an organisational wide governance framework.

Laura Clark, Head of Nursing and Quality South (RGN, RSCN, Post Grad Diploma Health Service Management)

Laura has worked in the field of young adult oncology for over 25 years where she has gained first hand insight into the challenges faced by young people and their families whilst undergoing treatment for cancer, and has developed her career-long passion for the specialty.

Throughout her career Laura has gained extensive knowledge and experience in health care in clinical practice and leadership, and also in senior operational and strategic management. She believes strongly in partnership working and has a long track record of successful project management, including the strategic and operational commissioning of the Teenage Cancer Trust unit in Cardiff. Since the unit has opened, she has used her clinical expertise to lead a team to develop pathways of care to ensure the unit supports improved outcomes and experience. As a result the unit has become the focus for the development of a world class service for TYA’s with cancer in Wales.

Laura was a key member of the specialist clinical project group that developed the All Wales Standards for TYA cancer services .She is a member of the NCRN Devolved Nations Project Group, set up to ensure equity of access to clinical trials for all children and young people in the United Kingdom.

Sam Smith, Head of Nursing and Quality North (MSc, BSc (Hons), RN Child DipHe, Specialist Practitioner, Honorary Research Associate)

Sam has worked with teenagers and young adults (TYA) with cancer for over eighteen years developing services and the staff caring for this unique patient group. Sam’s professional career spans the fields of acute paediatric medicine, paediatric intensive care before moving into paediatric and teenage/young adult oncology. Sam was a clinical nurse and manager on the Teenage Cancer Trust Manchester Unit at The Christie and went on to become a TYA Lead Nurse/Divisional Matron and TYA Nurse Consultant. Sam is recognised as a leader in TYA cancer nursing and is a regular international invited conference speaker and published author in this field. Sam is currently a Florence Nightingale Leadership Scholar.

Sam has a proven track record as a clinical/ operational service manager and in senior strategic nursing leadership. Sam has worked within the education sector as a part time Nurse Lecturer/Practitioner, Professional Development Lead, Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Manchester and is currently an Honorary Research Associate and Lecturer at the University of Coventry. Sam has led national projects including publishing best practice guidance - the Blueprint of Care 2012 and is currently leading a national teenage and young adult cancer nursing competence, education and career framework project which will be published through the Royal College of Nursing.

Sam works across a wide geographical area and advises nationally and internationally on teenage and young adult cancer. Sam is a board member of various current national groups including TYAC, National Clinical Research Institute and the National Cancer Intelligence Network.

Essential standards of quality and safety

What standards to expect from the regulation of NHS hospitals

Following the introduction of a new law, all NHS hospitals in England must now be licensed by the Care Quality Commission (CQC). To be licensed, hospitals must show that they are meeting new essential standards of quality and safety. CQC continuously monitors them to make sure standards are upheld or improvement action is taken.

CQC has published a leaflet which informs patients, their carers and families, what they can expect from the essential standards. The leaflet also explains how important it is that patients or their carers tell the regulator about their experiences, both good and bad, to help CQC make the right decisions.

The ‘What standards to expect from the regulation of your NHS hospital’ leaflet can be read or downloaded from the CQC website at

At the same time the CQC website publishes an up-to-date directory of all licensed NHS hospitals. You can now look up the current status of any NHS hospital trust in England.

Patients Association

An independent charity that highlights the concerns and needs of patients to help develop better, and more responsive, health services.

Helpline: 08456 08 44 55



Occupational therapy

Guidance for occupational therapists and endorsed by Teenage Cancer Trust, this publication examines the individual and specific needs of a child or young person with cancer.