End of Treatment Bell given inspirational new meaning

Posted 16th October 2020

End of treatment bell alongside milestone poem at The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre

The End of Treatment Bell is a familiar sight in many hospital wards, rung by patients finishing treatment. But at The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre, the bell has taken on new meaning thanks to a patient.

Jane Brady, 54, from Frodsham is being treated for breast cancer at the Clatterbridge Cancer Centre’s CANTreat treatment clinic based at Halton General Hospital in Runcorn. With her treatment being palliative, Jane will never get to ring the bell in the traditional way.

“I wrote a poem about the journey of having cancer after a conversation with one of my nurses who was looking for a new poem to be more inclusive to patients who would never finish treatment. It was one of the matrons who saw the poem and the idea to introduce it across The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre was born” explains Jane.

Jane’s new poem is now displayed next to the bell at all The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre’s chemotherapy clinics and patients are encouraged to read it aloud and ring the bell at whatever point in their treatment pathway they would like, whether that be to give them courage before their first ever chemotherapy session or perhaps after a particularly hard week of feeling unwell. Patients can still choose to read the original poem and ring the bell at the end of their treatment.

Jane added “Like me, many patients want to ring the bell but may never come to the end of their treatment. It can be really upsetting for patients to hear others ringing the bell knowing their turn will never come.”

Jane has continued to receive treatment every three weeks throughout the pandemic and has been keeping herself busy making and selling cards to raise money for breast cancer charities.

Laura Selby, Deputy Ward Manager at CANtreat at The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre NHS Foundation Trust said, “Jane’s poem has given the bell new meaning and now we make sure patients know they can ring it whenever they’d like to; in the traditional sense when they finish treatment or at any other point.

“It’s about giving our patients that choice. Dealing with cancer is a very personal journey for each of our patients and we want to make sure that’s reflected in the support we offer them. This bell gives patients hope, but we hope this enhanced version of the bell will mean lots of other things to our patients as well.”