Watch the video to find out who has won this prestigious nursing award. Good luck to all the finalists!

The finalists for the Commitment to Carers Award

Accelerator schools project team
Strategic transformation hub clinical lead Julie Bates has worked with parent carer forums to improve services for children and young people with learning disabilities. Through a Children and Young People’s Network they have built they ensure that parent carers lead strategic planning. Parent carers have co-designed and co-deliver an accelerator schools project, which works with children and young people with autism to prevent family breakdown and school exclusions. Parent carers report positive changes at home and say their children can see that their education is valued. The parent carers have greater confidence in talking to schools and raising concerns, feel less isolated and more confident in what their children are entitled to.

Esther Walker
St Catherine’s Hospice, Crawley, West Sussex
Ms Walker has dramatically improved the experience of carers by developing a package of support that is individualised and person-centred. She has trained others in and piloted the use of carer needs assessments. Feedback demonstrates how carers value the peer support, advice, education and social opportunities they can access through the drop-in group she started. Working with Carer Support West Sussex she designed and delivers an end of life seminar for carers that has been so successful it is now used through West Sussex. Carers report being ‘given their life back’ by her individualised support plans. She also conducted a survey to identify staff carers and provide them with support.

The Carers Academy team
NHS Ayrshire and Arran
The Carers Academy empowers informal carers of people with dementia to develop practical skills and knowledge and give them emotional support through a one-day programme backed by telephone follow-up. Dementia nurse consultant Susan Holland shaped the schedule for the programme, which is delivered by a multidisciplinary team, including peer support sessions in the morning. A practical skills workshop in the afternoon includes moving and handling and oral care. There are sessions on technology, advocacy services and maintaining the carers’ own well-being. Carers report that their understanding and empathy increased, as did their levels of confidence in supporting care and planning for future needs. They also felt less isolated.

Admiral Nurse service
Bolton NHS Foundation Trust
This team of nurses has put in place a range of measures to improve the support given to hundreds of people informally caring for someone with dementia. More than 500 carers have been visited in the community or hospital, with more than 370 using the peer support group. There is a dedicated support clinic for hospital staff who are also carers. The team’s intervention prevented more than 80 admissions in its first nine months. Carers themselves have driven the content of the team’s Carers Equip programme. Weekly training and support sessions, held in community centres, cover continence, end of life, resilience and well-being for carers as well as falls prevention.

Lynda Edwards
Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust
Clinical lead in school nursing Lynda Edwards has led her team in improving the support they give to this vulnerable group. She engages young carer services across the country, and new guidance and procedures have been written and introduced so that every school nurse can identify young carers in schools and provide high quality support. School nurses raise their visibility by attending young carers’ events and conferences and holding workshops with them. They identify young carers through online health assessments. Tailored care packages taking account of family circumstances, age and culture, written in consultation with the young carers, are tailored to meeting mental and physical health needs. The effectiveness of the packages is regularly tested.

Rachel Wright
Born at the Right Time
Nurse Rachel Wright launched Born at the Right Time to support healthcare professionals in communicating effectively and working in partnership with relatives and carers after her son was born with severe brain damage and she began to experience the gap between professionals and families. To bridge that gap she designed training in communicating and care co-production with relatives and carers, and provides sessions all over the country in social, education and health settings. Feedback shows participants leave the training with a better understanding of carers’ lived experience that will inform their practice. She also provides workshops for carers and relatives.