Complaints about your Breast Care Nurse

Would like to know if anyone has changed their Breast Care Nurse?
Or whether or not anyone has quite bonded with their Breast Care nurse.
How do you go out about changing them, if you are unhappy with them.

hi dolph,

I have had some issues. if you would like me to PM i willdiscuss.I would rather not converse on forum

Maj x

I didn’t get on with mine… I flet she didn’t listen to me so I asked one of the other nurses if she would be my BCN and she said yes and it was all fine… I’m actually a BCN and work with them all so thought it would be a problem but it wasn’t… We are all different and different people suit different styles or don’t gel with one person so don’t worry about it… It should be fairly straightforward.

Lulu x

Hi Dolph

I’ve had issues with my whole team and have actually changed hospitals.

Confidence in people in the team is such an important thing. As Lulu says, it shouldn’t be an issue to change but frankly if people get miffed about you wanting to change then I would say, “Tough”! It’s too important to just take what you’re given. Now’s the time to make sure you get what you need.

You wouldn’t take your car to a mechanic you didn’t like or trust…

Good luck

Hi I put up with my bcn for far too long before changing. My new bcn is much better suited to me. People can just clash. I just asked to see the new one and have done ever since. I occasionally speak to my old one on the phone and she is fine. I think she is too busy to worry about me and why i swapped.

good luck


my trust has two hospitals… one where the breast clinic is (and I knew the BCnurses there) and the other where the chemo happens, and I didn’t know the BCN there… I asked who I should relate to once I started chemo, and on both sites they said “whoever you want to. whatever is best for you is fine”… so… go for it. You need to feel you have someone you can phone when you’re down/anxious/grotty that you can feel safe with and rely on.

Reading this thread makes me really appreciate the situation I’ve had with BCNs. The set here means that I’ve been to three diffenret hospitals, each of which has its own BCNs, so at diffenret times I’ve had different nurses.

Nurse D is my favourite, and the first one I met… calm, organised, quiet and quite firm. That suits me. I am glad it is she who is my long term ‘open access’ nurse.

Nurse L is bubbly, full of information but ‘never there’… she overloaded me with info at my pre-chemo appointment and I’ve never seen her since. A couple of time I left messages for her which took up to a week to be answered. She’s great when you do get hold of her, but I found it frustrating and worrying at times.

Nurse C was was my surgery nurse, young, lively and everso down-to-earth. I knew from Day 1 we would get on and I also knew I would ‘lose’ her after my surgery. She could make me laugh, pulled a drain out without me noticing and was very matter of fact where appropriate.

So, I am really lucky, I am left with a brill BCN with whom I get on great. Not everyone is so lucky. At each of the three hospitals I was at there are two or three BCNs and some people do ask to change… some of the ladies I met certainly changed from L.

Hope you find someome you can relate to Dolph, it is so important to feel you are listened to, respected and supported.

Not complaining, but explaining: I’m treated at a “centre of excellence” :wink: where the oncologists come and go, I’ve lost count of how many I’ve seen during my 5+ years of treatment. So the BCN (or Clinical Nurse Specialist to use the official name) is really important for continuity.

During my time, there have been three (one was covering a maternity leave) and all have been very good indeed. That said, I think I relate slightly better to the one who is nearer my own age. When a BCN is young enough to be one’s daughter, it makes me wonder where the years went :slight_smile:

The first was a disaster.I changed to another who is a bit better but hardly someone you could rely on or trust.I did have a lovely nurse when my surgery results came through but she was standing in for No 2.Am due to start Chemo next week and now feel there will be no support whatsoever. No 2 nurse did ring about two days ago ostensibly to see how I was but she didn’t seem bothered one way or the other. The consultants I’ve encountered have been superb-humane and communicative, but the nursing care has been hit and miss.
Am now reliant on these forums and the helplines for information . Would particularly have liked some support and information re hair loss but assume it won’t happen. Sorry for negativity but in my case the BCN have been worse than useless

Hi all,
Thank you soo much for posting and your comments.
I am glad for you ladies who have had a brilliant BCN.
But i find it quite horrendous that a few people have commented that they have had negative experiences with their BCN.
I phoned and spoke to another BCN and she was quite helpful.
Thanks again.
And if you are unhappy with your BCN, it is important that us as ladies do change our BCN, and get the care, help and support we deserve. At this time in our lives, we do need help and support and should feel listened to and Supported. We have to look after ourselves now ladies!!!

I will admit, when I was first diagnosed I found mine a little irritating. I have quite a stubborn personality and I wasn’t falling apart so I did sometimes find her a tad patronising. However, she realised I didn’t need the same level of support as some of the other ladies, so would only contact me if necessary (i.e. if there had been an issue at an appointment), or I would contact her if I needed to. As I was technically misdiagnosed at the beginning she also came to my home to go through a few things (the surgeon was concerned about whether I trusted him or not). I eventually formed a good relationship with her and I don’t know what I would have done without her assistance before my discharge prior to Christmas; I was very grateful for her help with getting an earlier appointment and beyond remission I know she is still there if I need her. She is very dedicated to her role and she raises a lot of money for BC stuff.

Unfortunately I can’t say the same for her colleagues. There was one who retired after I was diagnosed, but she was with me when I was admitted for surgery as my own BC nurse was on holiday that week. This woman was the senior BC nurse and kept saying things like “this is a crucial point in your treatment” which I found made me quite nervous. She was also a bit hectoring in her tone. There is one other I don’t like dealing with as she is very rude. Other ladies I’ve met who were assigned to her just could not get a rapport going because of this, she made them feel as if they were a nuisance. It’s the same with going for counselling - you have to be able to get on with the person you are seeing to be comfortable spilling all your problems out to them.

I have been very lucky with all my bcn There are two on the chemo side who work very well together. Either are dependable. Last week one of them re scheduled appts for me and checked up to ensure everything was ok. The surgery bcn was awesome too. Phoning me post surgery to see how I was several times. The pre surgery chat was very good too and she answered all my questions. They are all down to earth and approachable.
I feel very fortunate.
X Sarah

hello, yes I changed mine - well to be honest I demanded to see just one consitently , in the first 4 weeks of my diagnosis I saw 5 different ones which drove me crazy. Poor lass, the one I picked, she was well anxious about me after that as I had made such a fuss - but I don’t really need her that often so I think she is surviving!
I think you have a right to someone who you can talk to if at all possible - sadly the team in my area has been halved since the cuts started to bite so its less possible to shift from one to another I think.
all the best nicola

BCN - what is one of those? Hardly seen one since Secondary diagnosis!

Sadie Xx Xx

Hi Sadie - nice to see you!

Yep in my experience, stage IV doesn’t come onto their radar. (Except they’ve got a fab BCN at the Marsden who just does secondary BC)

If you are not happy i would ask to change .Wish i had i rang mine as i thought i could feel another lump and she told me that it wouldn’t do to be paranoid or my surgeon would just think i was a panicker and wouldn’t see me.She said she would do her best and he did agree to see me but i felt so low when i went to the appointment .I thought he was going to be cross with me !!!
She has only rang me once in 7 months the rads team have rang me up more to see how I’m doing than my breast care nurse has xx

That’s shocking lisha You should have been treated with a lot more care.
Hugs to you

X Sarah

Sadie we also have dedicated mets BCNs… We all are specialised I work as a genetic BCN and a screening BCN and there are two more screening ones, there are 5 symptomatic/ general BCNs and two mets BCNs.

The one of the secondaries nurses was my original BCN but she felt there wasn’t enough support or patients with mets so set up the service for mets and her colleague joined her… I was very sad she wasn’t my BCN any more especially when I got allocated the one who I didn get on with… But she was te reason I went into breast care nursing cos she was so flipping fab and if I’m half as good as she is I’ll be more than happy.

Just wish there was a service like that all over as secondaries patients have such specialised issues, personally think there should be a young womens BCN too as I think they are so used to dealing with older women they don’t always take younger women’s issues into account unfortunately.


I thought it was just me that was unlucky we have 3 I found 2 of them very patronising and didn’t have a clue how to cope with me I think they only have one style and that’s “there, there just cry and let it all out” and “you know where we are if you need us” they were useless! Then third one came along who was so much better but her workload was huge because she is so good. I think you should be able to evaluate the service you receive because obviously some by nurses aren’t giving us the correct support when we need it the most

Another current thread about BCNs here: