Congratulations to all the winners and finalists of our 2019 Nurse Awards.
Inspired by a mum’s story of how her daughter Alice was unable to communicate with healthcare professionals, these learning disability nursing students have been raising awareness of Makaton signing with their university peers in other specialties.
After engaging with Alice’s mum, the student quality ambassadors began promoting the use of Makaton in learning disability champion workshops at the university, helping adult, child and mental health students develop their knowledge and practice. The communication aid they created has since been downloaded more than 5,200 times.
They work tirelessly to spread their work further afield, engaging with a wide and diverse population through social media.
Macmillan gynaecology clinical nurse specialist Amy Dugdale recognised patients with ovarian cancer were missing out on a life-prolonging drug because they had not undergone the genetic screening that would make them eligible to receive it.
Her small district general hospital did not have the resources to provide the counselling that genetic screening required, and referrals to genetic centres could be time-consuming, resulting in delays in treatment.
Ms Dugdale implemented her nurse-led BRCA testing service, ensuring that she was trained and able to inform and counsel patients appropriately, changing the disease course for a large number of women under the trust’s care.
Community children’s nurse Joanna Broderick has developed a safe, structured oxygen-weaning guideline for babies with chronic neonatal lung disease that is transforming care for families in Devon Integrated Children’s Services.
The guideline provides details for when monitoring should take place and actions to be taken depending on oxygenation results. Ms Broderick successfully built a business case for the new equipment needed.
The process outlined in the guideline has halved the time taken to wean babies from an average of 168 hours to 68 hours. It has also improved the safety and effectiveness of the weaning process, as well as reducing the number of home visits families require.
Nurses Fe Franklin and Sally Kitchin set up this service to support carers of a relative with dementia after realising they were struggling to access services and support.
They have recruited former carers who have gone through the same experience and wish to ‘give something back’, creating a team of volunteer befrienders who offer one-to-one support and coaching for current carers, giving them the confidence to seek help and articulate what they need.
The volunteers hold monthly peer group supervision sessions for ongoing support and self-development, helping coordinator Ms Kitchin to pick up on mental and physical health needs.
This Queen’s Nurse developed the Five Guide – a simple tool to help health visitors explain to new mothers who have had a caesarean section why it’s important to take things easy.
The tool, created with the help of an RCN Foundation grant, helps clinicians explain abdominal healing, using their own hand to create a visual picture and highlight the five layers of skin are cut in the procedure.
The training Ms McKnight-Cowan developed will become mandatory across the trust. It has been completed by more than 130 health visitors, none of whom had previously received any training about cesareans.
Find out more: Celebrating Nursing Practice: Seven of the best projects
An appraisal discussion by members of the team spawned the idea of developing an end of life pathway at Northern General Hospital’s emergency department. Staff were frustrated that patients nearing the end of life were arriving at the emergency department and being cared for on trollies rather than their preferred place of death, which is often their home.
With support from nurse director Angela Harris, a 24/7 robust pathway has now been established for all patients who choose to die in their own home. This pathway includes a ‘comfort box’ that contains items such as syringe drivers, incontinence pads and mouth care equipment.
A new room for bereaved families and friends of patients has been created at the hospital.
Rachel Taylor is the chief investigator and grant holder of the Sarcoma Assessment Measure (SAM) study to develop and validate a sarcoma-specific patient reported outcomes questionnaire that will improve communication between patients and their clinicians.
She established an interdisciplinary research team that reflects the diversity of healthcare professionals who care for patients with sarcoma, including nurses, psychologists, medical oncologists, a paediatrician and an orthopaedic surgeon. Patient representatives also contribute to the team as co-researchers.
SAM was one of the biggest recruiting studies in sarcoma last year, thanks to the involvement of a sarcoma research nurse in protocol development. By mapping care pathways they identified time points and people who could approach patients.
Lisa Morgan was appointed the cardiothoracic theatres family-centred care lead after displaying exceptional skills in communicating with patients and families.
She created a training package for staff to educate them on the importance of family-centred care and support them to meet the emotional and psychological needs of patients and carers.
She also developed communication aids that give patients and carers vital information to help alleviate concerns, including an electronic book that translates information into different languages.
She organises teddy bears and certificates for children having surgery and alters shifts so she has more time to dedicate to patients before their surgery.
Nurse inventor Ms Bennett observed that compression stockings were difficult to apply. This was validated by data from patient and nurse focus groups. So as a student she developed the Neo-slip, a slipper-style sock aid, before setting up a nurse-led enterprise to use it to improve patient outcomes.
She familiarised herself with NHS procurement, supply chain and warehousing considerations and ‘helped lots of patients to apply their stockings’, building a business that is sustainable and nurse-led. Patient outcomes are measured with the PROMs (patient reported outcome measures) questionnaire.
Now, helped by patient champions spreading the word, Neo-slip use is increasing on wards and sales at Boots are rising, with more than 10,000 units sold. Trials are taking place in France, Belgium and Holland.
As matron for ophthalmology at Whipps Cross University Hospital, advanced nurse practitioner Taurai Matare has transformed her unit and the care it provides by developing its care pathways and workforce over the past 14 years.
Clinical audits, feedback from patients and staff, as well as recruitment and retention data testify to the success of her vision. Recent examples include zero complaints in 2018 and a zero nurse vacancy rate in eye theatres.
The theatres were described as the ‘gold star’ of Whipps Cross by the Care Quality Commission, and 80% of the trust’s ophthalmology staff would recommend the unit as a place to work.
This acute hospital team has transformed the hospital experience of people with learning disabilities through what the Care Quality Commission and NHS England recently acknowledged as a standout service.
The team established steering groups with service users as core members, as well as a champion network that provides a forum to address educational, environmental and clinical needs. Training has been given to more than 3,400 staff, resulting in fundamental cultural change in the trust.
Length of stay for more than 543 patients has been halved and the team has co-produced foundation-level learning disability and autism training and information packs that are now used by 12 trusts and primary care services in Cheshire and Merseyside.
Clinical practice lead Rachel Luby is on a mission to transform sexual health and expression and approaches to intimacy in her forensic mental health unit.
She believed existing practice failed to recognise that patients are sexual beings who should not have to give up healthy sexual expression while in hospital, which could make initiating new relationships after they leave hospital more difficult.
She has driven policy and guideline changes, and a sexual health nurse has attended the ward to offer screening, advice and treatment. Plans include a weekly group on love, sex and intimacy and a sexual expression care plan for each patient.
Clinical manager Lindsay Rees has significantly reduced the number of falls in two care homes through a project at Colten Care, which operates care homes in the south of England.
She introduced an individual falls risk factor assessment and care plan using the findings of an in-depth literature review of best practice in falls management. The plan was supported by a staff education and awareness programme.
One home is recording 47% fewer falls per week since the project. In the other home, a relaunch of the project after a challenging first phase has seen a 35% drop in falls per week.
Govan Health Centre practice sister Ms Everett was nominated by John Alexander:
‘Ms Everett has been the driving force behind our Men’s Shed, which addresses men’s isolation and loneliness and the lack of positive activities for men who no longer have anywhere to go each day.
‘She has been so willing to go the extra mile for men like us, dedicating hours to navigating around red tape with her infectious enthusiasm. She doggedly motivates all involved to keep going even when dealt bitter blows.
‘The Shed has changed lives. People have a reason to get up in the morning and face what used to be problems, but now have become challenges.’
This nurse-led multidisciplinary team provides intensive rehabilitation and recovery services for patients with mental illness who previously resided in locked, out-of-area facilities. It delivers bespoke packages of care to individuals in their own home, which means they can live close to family and friends.
A strong focus on staff development has created a dynamic, committed and compassionate team.
More than 50 patients have been able to leave locked rehabilitation placements thanks to the team’s support, with most living independently.
As well as transforming patients’ lives, the number of out-of-area treatment bed nights has been reduced by 99%, and there has been a significant reduction in emergency department attendances and hospital admissions.
The reductions in out-of-town expenditure now funds the team, which has delivered additional savings of £500,000.
Practice nurse manager Emma Williamson has transformed management of leg ulcers at a surgery in Suffolk, increasing the number of healed wounds, improving patient experience and freeing up time for community and practice nurses.
She made a case for a Doppler machine at the Angel Hill Surgery in Bury St Edmunds and arranged training for nurses on leg ulcer management.
Her weekly holistic clinic includes bloods, a Doppler study, referrals to weight loss and smoking cessation services, and leg washing and dressing.
The reduction in leg ulcers has saved 16 hours of nursing time per week, and the cost of supplies has fallen.