News NHS awards

HAVE you received outstanding care from a nurse or medical team in Maidstone?Well, now’s your chance to reward their work. The Maidstone and Tunbridge

Wells NHS Trust Staff Star Awards give patients a chance to nominate anyone who works for the Trust, be that an individual or a team, such as ward staff. Make your nomination by Mon-

day, October 2, at www.surveymon- Hard copies of the form are avail-

able at Maidstone Hospital’s main reception. Winners will be announced at an

event for trust staff on Friday, No- vember 24.


MOTORISTS face more delays in Maidstone as roadworks have started on the busy Hermitage Lane. While Kent County Council plans

for a dedicated left hand filter lane for Aylesford Retail Park that will ease south-bound traffic, disruption is inevitable during the works. The extra lane will provide two unhindered “straight ahead” lanes to the A20 junction, with a Keep Clear area. The work began overnight on

Wednesday, August 23, and is ex- pected to take until Christmas to complete.

Laura’s Ball set to raise £25k for cancer charity

TICKET sales have been brisk for Breast Cancer Kent’s biggest an- nual fund-raiser at Leeds Castle. The black tie ball, which is hoped

will raise £25,000 this year,was first held in 2014. Itwas the idea of Larkfield’s Laura

Clarke (pictured), a cardiac physiol- ogist at Maidstone Hospital. Throughout her brave battle with breast cancer she raised money for the charity, organised the event and provided advice and support to fel- low patients at Maidstone and Tun- bridgeWells hospitals. Today, Laura’s Ball attracts 200

guests – twice as many as when it began – and two years ago it moved from its original venue of Oakwood House to Leeds Castle. This year’s event in the Fairfax

Hall on Saturday, October 7, will in- clude a three-course meal, entertain- ment and live music – a lasting fun-filled tribute to Laura, whose “sparkle and giggle never faltered” and who died on October 21, 2014, at the age of 31. Helen Teare, who also joined the charity after finishing treatment for breast cancer in 2013, said: “Since

takingupthe reins from Laura, it has been wonderful to witness the suc- cess and growing support for the ball and our work.” In recent months, the charity has bought 3D imaging equipment for Maidstone Hospital, provided safety additions to radiotherapy equip- ment at every treatment centre in Kent and helps fund research into cancer at the University of Kent. Helen said: “After receiving treat-

ment for breast cancer, I wanted to put something back.At Breast Can- cer Kent, we all volunteer our time and so every pennywe raise goes to help and support breast cancer pa- tients. “In the last few years technology

in this area has come on leaps and bounds – more than the NHS can keep up with – but our fundraising means that we help more patients access the latest treatment and ad- vice.”

Tickets for the charity ball cost

£600 for a table of eight, with indi- vidual tickets at £85 per head. Call Helen Teare on 07736 649524 or email The charity, which celebrated its

20th anniversary last year, was es- tablished by breast cancer consult- ants Sue and Peter Jones, an accomplished husband and wife team based at Maidstone Hospital until 2013 and who retired from pri- vate practice in 2016.  Over 6,000 patients are referred each year to Maidstone and Tun- bridge Wells Trust breast care units. Of these, 600 are treated an- nually for breast cancer.

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