2016 Cheshire Woman Award

2016 Cheshire Woman of the Year

Kate Spall

In June 2005 Pamela Northcott was diagnosed with kidney cancer. Pam had watched her own Mother, just 50 years old, succumb to the same disease. She was steadfast in her view that her own children would not watch her die too. She would fight this with every ounce of her being. The family were then distraught to be informed that there were no effective chemotherapy treatments for kidney cancer.

Her daughter Kate took leave from work, put her children into full time nursery and started her journey of forensic research into kidney cancer in the desperate hope of saving her Mum.

She found a world expert in kidney cancer in New York and sent Pam’s medical notes over. The clinician confirmed there were two new drugs that were used in most of Europe and the US: Sutent and Nexavar.  Kate now had a goal, promising her mum that she would obtain one of these drugs, which Pam’s oncologist had stated was “an impossible task”.

Kate began her ‘Fight for Life’ campaign seeking NHS approval of these new drugs for her Mum. After nine months of sleepless nights researching the UK’s cancer commissioning process, Kate discovered a hidden ‘Exceptional Case’ policy, which allowed clinicians to apply to their local NHS board for the funding of high cost cancer drugs for individual patients.  After Kate’s relentless campaign to the NHS Board, Pam became the first person in Wales to access the drug.  Sadly this came to late to her and she passed away 4 months later) it was too late for her. Pam’s dying wish was for Kate to ensure others also gained access to the drug.  On 13th August 2007, the day after her mother’s death, Kate set up The Pamela Northcott Fund – “The Right Treatment at the Right Time for Cancer Patients”.

Kate’s campaigning and advocacy resulted in NHS funding the new drugs for over 70 kidney cancer patients in the first 6 months after Pam’s death. Within 12 months the Welsh NHS had approved both drugs for all kidney cancer patients. Kate was then asked to be Expert Patient Witness for English drug approval body NICE and now both are standard treatment for kidney cancer patients in the UK.

This could have been a great end of the story. However, hundreds of patients contacted Kate with similar stories of new drugs for a multitude of cancers being refused due to cost. She took on every case and ensured over 300 patients gained NHS funding for their specific cancer. Kate has become a successful campaigner for access to all new cancer treatments. She is now an expert in NHS cancer commissioning policy, briefing MP’s, the media and oncologists. She has campaigned for the Cancer Drugs Fund which has now provided new life-extending cancer drugs to over 80,000 patients. She successfully lobbied the government to ensure cancer patient rights, including access to new treatments were top of the agenda.

Kate provides free advocacy nationally for any cancer patient refused NHS funding for a new drug. She also mentors teen cancer patients and supports and advices local organisations working with vulnerable adults and terminally ill children. Kate is resolute that she will continue this work until every cancer patient in the UK receives “the right treatment at the right time”.

Pat Rice



Alcock Clare,  Stockport, Comm – Champion volunteer in local community
Altouyan Heidi, Prestbury, Comm – Lollipop lady and campaigner

Ashley Pauline, Macclesfield, Comm – Support for charities here and abroad

Barnes Lisa, Warrington, Prof – Designer, created room for Clatterbridge

Berg Hilary, Parkgate Prof/Comm – Communications and PR expert

Black Karen, Macclesfield, Comm – Dedicated service for sea cadets

Brian Patricia BEM, Frodsham – Comm Dedicated her retirement to volunteering

Brogan Ellie, Chester, Comm/PersCour – Former patient raising funds for Alder Hey

Bryson Julia, Hoylake, Comm/PersCour -Blogger, fundraiser, writer

Carolan Jane, Bromborough, Prof – Director of Autism Together

Cole Marian, Marple, Comm – Set up ‘Build an Education’ in Ghana

Crombie Helen, Lymm, Prof – Nurse improving clinical excellence

Darlington Claire, Delamere, Prof/PersCour – Successful outdoor fitness company

Davies Anne MBE, DL, Ellesmere Port, Comm – Outstanding charity work at senior levels

Davies Tracy, Hoylake, Comm – First woman driver of Lifeboat recovery vehicle

Ditcheva Dakota, Sale, Prof – European Champion of Muay Thai

Duffy Siobhan, Northwich, Comm/PersCour – Inspirational strength through illness

Eason Bethany, Bebington, Comm/PersCour – Young campaigner for deaf rights

Foster Margaret, Macclesfield, Comm – Outstanding youth community work

Gowing Caroline, Northwich, Prof – Co-founder of Pink Spaghetti

Gregory Jemma, Chester, Comm/PersCour – Chair of SPACE

Griffiths Elaine, Poynton, Prof/Comm – Restoration of Gorton Monastery Gwyther

Lynda Mellor, Prof/Comm – Inspirational work with teenage mums

Hallam Nique, Prenton, Prof/PersCour – Psychologist working with families

Hanzak Elaine, Helsby, Comm/PersCour – Support for perinatal mental health

Harper Doreen, Poynton, Comm – 40 years teaching swimming to disabled people

Hart Averil, Altrincham, Comm – 40 years volunteering at St Ann’s Hospice

Hawkins Joanne, Warrington, Prof – Executive of Virtual PA

Hunter Helen, Walton, Comm – Service to girl guiding

Laker Sarah, Marple, Prof/Comm Chair – Marple Business Forum

Larrisey Gina, Eastham, Comm – Fighting for rights and education of autistic children

Lewis Jones Catherine, Bebington, Prof/Comm – Outstanding medical consultant in palliative care

Lowe Deborah, West Kirby, Prof – Led improvements in stroke services

Lyons Helen, Hazel Grove, Comm -Inspiring youth club leader

Maddaford Cathy, Neston, Prof – Retired Director of Nursing, NHS

Mamelok Rachel, Mobberley, Comm/PersCour – Cancer survivor and fundraiser

Marincowitz Angela, Upton, Comm/PersCour – Helping families with hospital costs

Matthews Vicky, Northwich, Prof – Co-founder of Pink Spaghetti

McCartan Kirsty, Birkenhead, Comm/PersCour – Fundraising for teenage cancer patients

McFarlane Elaine, Christleton, Prof – Encouraging women into science

Millington Susanna, Chester, Comm – Helping refugees in Kos

Mullin Nicola, Chester, Prof – Champion for women’s health

Munroe Jane BEM, Macclesfield, Comm – Co-founder of Treacle Market

Murray Caroline, Kingsley, Prof – Inspirational business woman

Pickles Sarah, Winsford, PersCour – Courage overcoming health issues

Proctor Lynette, Wallasey, PersCour – Raising public awareness of guide dogs

Purcell Louise, Chester, Comm/PersCour – Support for Chester’s Babygrow Appeal

Quinn Deborah BEM, Macclesfield, Comm – Co-founder of Treacle Market

Roberts Cathy, Macclesfield, Comm/PersCour – Changing lives through art

Sandland Catherine, Hartford, Prof – Inspirational speaker and trainer

Smith Sam, Poynton, Prof/PersCour – Supporting teenagers with cancer

Solomon Heather, Heswall, Comm – Support to local community and charities

Spall Kate, Chester, Comm – Campaigner for cancer patients

Taylor Kate, Cheadle, Comm – Cycling marathon across Africa

Thornton Fabienne, West Kirby, Prof – Successful lingerie business

Tinn Sharon, Ellesmere Port, Comm -Helping parents back into

Whitmore Julie, Nantwich, Prof – Supportive housing solutions

Williams Claire, Romiley, Prof – Co-founder of Paper Salad stationery

Wilson Karen, Romiley, Prof – Co-founder of Paper Salad stationery

Wood Lesley, Higher Walton, Prof – Outstanding animal photographer

Wright Kathy, Bebington, Prof/Comm – Runs ‘Maggie’s Merseyside’ at Clatterbridge

* Prof- Professional Achievement

Comm-Community Service

Pers – Personal Courage