Complaints about your Breast Care Nurse

lulu - i think your suggestion of there being bcn’s who deal with younger women is a good idea. i suppose it is difficult as most patients i presume are a bit older. but i do think they should consider younger womens feelings/concerns maybe different to older ladies and may need different/more emotional help/support etc.

TTM xxx

ttm - just curious - why should ‘younger’ women’s feelings/concerns be different? Surely breast cancer is breast cancer whatever your age.

When I was first diagnosed with BC in 2009 at the Princess Royal in Haywards Heath, I had a fantastic Breast care nurse, who was more like a very good chum than a nurse. Even when I was diagnosed with secondaries in 2010, and decided to change hospitals she fully supported me, and has kept in touch ever since. At my new Hospital, there are two BC nurses, one is very nice and helpful, but the other (surprisingly a Macmillan nurse), I find quite prickly and difficult to get on with. I wouldn’t complain about her though, because it could just be a clash of personalities, and the fact that I have always dealt with her under difficult circumstances. The other thing is, I think sometimes a bit of empathy is called for. Having trained as a nurse myself a while back, I know that it can be a fairly stressful, and at times very upsetting job - and were all human. In any case I know that if I needed help/support, I could always go to the other two nurses, who I know would help.

Hi there,
When first diagnosed I had a bcn who I saw maybe 3 times, she always seemed near a box of tissues lol which I never used, she was very factual and helpful andd I think did her best to answer the questions I had. But you either gel with someone or you don’t.
My BCN now, knows I rarely need tissues, she’s very proactive in the business end of bc, form filling for DLA etc, very efficiant and you know if she says she will do it, it gets done. We have gradually formed a good relationship and never fails to turn up if shes available when I am in the chemo unit or she comes to visit if she thinks she needs to review things.
I don’t really confide in her but do tell her if something is bothering me and she is great at the liason between the consultant.
I have a chemo nurse who is wonderful and fits in all the bits that are missing with my BCN ( no fault on her part)They both have a way of second guessing what my needs are, so between the 2 of them I feel very reassured and looked after.
I think it often is a personality thing, as in life you don’t always feel an instant bond with people. It seems the service though has not quite reached everyone which is such a shame as they do such a wonderful service, I guess perhaps for some that they are somewhat overburdened by the work load and have to prioritise, though thats no help to those who have had not such a great experience.
Clare xxx

Lulu, you are lucky to have such a large team! It’s great that your senior inspired you to switch areas and care for others with BC, that must be hard on you at times.

My BCN team is quite small (3, i think?) I met them a lot initially: at diagnostic clinic (you instantly know the news is bad when there are three additional new faces in the room!), pre and post op clinics, drain-pulling and for prosthetic-fitting (that was gross, and I never went back) they were also the obstacle or filter that made it hard to get into treatment for lymphoedema. I don’t have dog-ears either, it’s just normal fat. Normal, unilateral fat?? RIIIIGHT… Since getting past that, I have been nursed by the LE girls who are macmillan nurses, there are three or four of them covering a large patch so I don’t always see the same one and they sometimes have a trainee that I never see again. They are great and there is nothing I can’t ask them. If one solution doesn’t work we try something else, we can sort this lymphoedema thing together. And all the other stuff.

I did have a clash many years ago with my then health-visitor and I insisted on a swap, it’s an important relationship and you need to get one you can work with. I traded a childless single twinset-and-pearls lady, and I mean Lady, who lived by her watch (yes in the nineties, not the fifties!!) swapped her for a guy with young grandchildren, who had a sound grasp of reality, moderation and the art of the possible, and we got on brilliant after that; everyone slept, albeit at strange times, nobody starved even if some of the meals were unorthodox combinations… parents survived and baby thrived! So much more need to be flexible where cancer is concerned. So my moral is, everyone doesn’t get on with everyone and if you need to swap, go for it.

I have no complaints as “my” BCN doesn’t exist. I’ve seen one in clinic. Younger than my granddaughter - well, almost. She’s said, “Hi, do you wish to discuss anything?” “Erm, no.” “Well, here’s my phone number if you wish to discuss anything.”

That’s it.

Do I wish to discuss anything?

I’ve lived with this for 6 years or more without the help of a BCN because nobody’s been available. I can’t see me discussing this with someone who’s so young. What would I discuss with her? Can she honestly talk about all of this with someone who’s old enough to be her Nanna? If she can, perhaps she’d like to PM me.

Good luck to us all.


It’s good that we can come here and share, I do feel very fortunate having access to the internet with so much information and forums. I also find it’s easier to throw things out in writing at my leisure from my own living room, than try and talk in clinic when everyone is stressed and pressurised and it’s all so public. If anything is bothering me, that’s not the best situation to get it out. I think one reason our Macmillan lymphoedema nurses are more approachable than the BCN team is they have longer timeslots and it’s held in a little sideroom in a GP surgery not the huge hospital. They also come to our quarterly support group so we can meet them out of hours and have a laugh together.

GrannyScouse, you made me laugh too, I’m finding the doctors look young now, even the consultants! And the policemen… isn’t that a sign of - er, needing glasses, or something?! LOL

Thanks for your contributions here everyone.

This is an old thread I know but one I would like to be part of, I took an instant dislike to the woman who said she would be my ban . All i got was how good she was in charge over two hospitals well done to her getting the job. But she has no empathy friendless concern etc in Her little finger. She gives messages to jjunior nurses to ring me about appointments when I speak to the person she has the dates and times all wrong. Then there is what would you like to be known by Val  I replied that is my name but she insists on calling me lovely darling sweet pet I find this do condescending. Perhaps it’s an age think I am 71 she must be mid 50th. We just do not gel I do not know why. I think she is probably very good at one of her jos buti is very stressed because of staff shortages etc ,she tries too hard being the oncologist and consultant which she is not. It was her who examined me on the first day at the hospital and told me I definitely had cancer before any biopsies. Surely I should have been told this b the .consultabt, rant over. Looks like I am struck with with here.

I am complaining that this time round  I have not been given a designated breast care nurse.  I have previously had a breast care nurse when undergoing surgery.  She was excellent, no complaints.  But today I am in the middle of a course of radiotherapy - at a different hospital - and had several concerns and phoned  the hospital, asked for a bcn (linked to radiotherapy) at this hospital.  I was put through to a radioographer who brushed aside my request for a bcn and said she could answer my questions, which she did.  In fact I still have one big query that I think she failed to answer.  I will ask again. 

Hi WAVEY - Awwww, flippin 'eck. I can’t believe what you girls. They reeeally need to know what you’re saying. You need to address an ANONYMOUS LETTER to them or let MEEEEE do it.!!!

How are you OTHERwise WAVEY ??

IT’s SOOOOO good to see/hear you flower.


Lotsa Love 

Dellywelly xxxx

I had TWO of the most brilliant, helpful, friendly and supportive BCN’s EVER. Imelda and Claire at Oldham and North Manchester General - absolute gems. Sounds like they need to give some lessons to all your lots.

HAPPY NEW YEAR GIRLS.  hope it’s a good one that gets better and better.

Keep kicking this gawd awful disease in thye BUTT - HEY

Lotsa love to you ALL

Dellywellydingdong xxxxx 

Strangely, my tums been a lot more settled the last few days, Thank You darlin’.

But I’ve had my scan results. Tha liver ones are showing cysts, plus raised levels of certains chemicals so I’ll take the report with me for my Ultrasound practitioner, later this morning. 

I’ll be back some time later, just have had a lot on lately.

Until then - keep on kicking at this disease

Loadsa love

Dellywelly xxx