Lobke Marsden, Play Specialist, Leeds Teaching Hospitals

Why did you choose to work in the NHS?

As a teenager I ended up in hospital myself. It was my first hospital experience and I remember feeling quite scared. I was shown compassion and care by a member of staff who had the amazing ability of easing my worries. It left a lasting impression and I knew then that I wanted to do the same for others. I wanted to make a difference, no matter how small that would be.

Describe what you do in 100 words

I work in a small paediatric team where I support children and young people up to the age of 25 years through their radiotherapy treatment.

Radiotherapy can be daunting so preparation is a big part of my job. The way I do this is individual to the patient; no two people are the same so might need different input. Together with my colleagues we think of creative ways to make the radiotherapy experience that little easier.

It can be challenging at times to support the patients and families through such a difficult time in their lives but it’s very rewarding!

How would you describe the NHS in one word?


If you could give the NHS any 70th birthday present what would it be?

Unsurprisingly I would give the NHS more funding. Apart from that a big high five and cake for all. You can’t have a birthday without cake!

What advice would you give to someone who was thinking about working in the NHS?

I would say go for it! It feels like being part of one rather large unique family.


Lobke and her team take the clinical masks that children wear when undergoing radiotherapy treatment and transform them into superheroes. In this film she talks about the one she made for six year-old William.


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