A holistic service is ensuring better access to palliative care in north Manchester.

Victoria Thorne

Its development and implementation has earned Victoria Thorne, lead nurse for North Manchester Community Services at The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, a place in the final of the RCNi Nurse Awards.

The North Manchester Macmillan Palliative Care Support Service co-ordinates care through daily meetings with district nurses to discuss new referrals, improve communication and share knowledge and skills, supporting patients in their final year of life.

Victoria was instrumental in driving the initiative forward, first as service manager for specialist nursing during its planning, then as lead nurse for community services when it launched in April 2015.

The initiative required a complete change in roles and practice for the Community Macmillan Service, moving from a five-day 9am-5pm service to an 8am-8pm service seven days a week.

Preliminary data has shown more patients are being cared for in their preferred place, and a reduction in deaths in hospital. Furthermore, 200 more people are being supported with palliative care. Nurses report being more able to offer flexible, holistic care to their patients.

Victoria Thorne

Victoria says: The new extended service has greatly enhanced palliative and end of life care and support for patients and families in north Manchester. It has been a pleasure working with staff from a variety of organisations and our patient representatives, who have been enthusiastic and motivated in helping to develop the service.

Victoria is a finalist in the leadership category of the RCNi Nurse Awards 2016. The award, sponsored by NHS England, recognises clinical leaders who have developed initiatives to ensure their nursing ward or unit offers the highest quality and safest care possible.

The editor of specialist journal Nursing Management, Sophie Blakemore, was on the shortlisting panel. She says: The RCNi Nurse Awards 2016 are a wonderful way to recognise those who innovate in their practice to make a tangible difference to patient care.

The standard of entries received for the leadership award was exceptionally high; the finalists show how senior nurses and midwives are leading and developing their staff to improve morale, performance and care.

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