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King's Birthday Honours: Huge congratulations to Mark Foulkes MBE

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17 June 2024 - Mark Foulkes, Macmillan Lead Cancer Nurse and Nurse Consultant at the Trust’s Berkshire Cancer Centre has been awarded an MBE in the King's Birthday Honours list 2024. He has been with the Trust for 21 years, and with the NHS for 36. The honour is in recognition of his services to nursing, including during the Covid 19 response. 
 
During an impressive career at the Trust, Mark helped to set up the Acute Oncology Service at the Royal Berkshire Hospital in 2015, firstly as a pilot. Through this work, and the roll out of it nationally, any patient with cancer, anywhere in England, no matter the specialism they are being seen by, is assessed and supported by oncology trained staff. This makes a huge difference to many tens of thousands of people every year, and Mark continues to provide long term advice and support to colleagues across the country working in acute oncology.  
 
Over his long career, Mark also made the Royal Berkshire Hospital one of the first to have ‘holistic needs assessments’ as a way to listen to and address the needs and concerns of people living with cancer. And he also helped to establish the Cancer Patient Partnership at the hospital, where patients affected by cancer come together to have a voice in the decisions and running of the cancer centre. 
 
Even in his free time, improving care for patients with cancer is a big part of Mark’s life. With his colleague Dr Joss Adams, he undertook a charity tandem ride from Reading to Spain raising £17,000 to fund and set up a mobile chemotherapy unit in West Berkshire. A keen advocate of bringing treatment and care ‘closer to home’ he championed and drove through work to get a purpose-built floor set up with four chemotherapy chairs at West Berkshire Community Hospital and helped to design the Bracknell Health Space Chemotherapy Unit.  
 
Mark is a passionate advocate for cancer nurses across the UK, which was evidenced during his time as the President of the UK Oncology Nursing Society for two years between 2021 and 2023. He provided leadership to oncology colleagues nationwide through Covid, above and beyond his normal role. His work helped oncology patients to receive their treatment safely during the pandemic. Mark also gave evidence to the Health Select Committee on cancer recovery post-Covid. 
 
Mark said, “I’m very pleased, very proud, and very shocked to have been selected for this award. I want to share it and dedicate it to all my fellow cancer nurses across the UK who do amazing work every day, supporting our patients, their families and loved ones, and each other.” 
 
Katie Prichard-Thomas, Chief Nursing Officer at the Trust said, “Mark is an inspiration to his colleagues, a staunch supporter for oncology nursing, and a passionate advocate for patients with cancer.  
 
“His compassion is boundless, and Mark has 7,000 colleagues who are very proud to have him as part of the team at the Royal Berkshire Hospital. We are delighted he has been recognised in the King’s Birthday Honours, it’s so well-deserved.”