Rising star wins award for compassionate care

Respiratory nurse is recognised for care of patients with lung disease

A respiratory nurse specialist has won a national award for her ‘compassionate’ care of patients with lung diseases.

Maria Smith of the integrated chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) team at the University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust, was named rising star of 2016 by the Association of Respiratory Nurse Specialists.

The award recognises individuals who provide ‘compassionate care over and beyond that usually undertaken in a respiratory nursing career’.

Ms Smith provides clinical and educational care to patients admitted to hospital with worsening symptoms of COPD – a collection of diseases including chronic bronchitis and emphysema – and supporting their discharge from hospital into the community.

She tends to COPD patients admitted to the emergency department, and in routine clinics to help prevent unnecessary re-admissions.

Her role also involves monitoring new patients who are at higher risk of frequent admissions, and liaising with GPs, community care teams and community matrons to manage more complex cases.

'I felt stunned but also proud to win this award,' says Ms Smith, who qualified in 2010. ‘I feel our service makes a real difference to patients’ lives as they seem to really appreciate our support and input, and I am lucky to work with a close-knit team who all have patients' best interests in mind.’