Category Finalists

Category Finalists

Andrew Parker Student Nurse Award

Kirsty Killiard

3rd year, mental health nursing, University of Dundee

Kirsty recognised that medicine management could be improved while on a clinical placement on a forensic learning disability ward. The third-year mental health nurse observed when patients appeared to need additional as-required medication to assist with distress associated with mental health. She had previously worked in areas that had documentation and monitoring aids relating to as-required psychotropic medication. After discussing it with consultants, the senior nursing team and her mentor, she sourced and implemented a monitoring system independently, with staff support. It is now in place on the ward and she was instrumental in educating staff in its use.


Lorraine Ramnath

3rd year, adult nursing, The Open University

Having witnessed the impact on inpatients of missed or incorrectly prescribed medication, and listening to patients’ fears, recently graduated Lorraine designed and implemented an evidence-based ‘Parkinson’s Passport’ while on placement at Peterborough City Hospital. As well as reassuring patients with Parkinson’s and helping them maintain their medication regimen, the booklet raises awareness and educates staff. It provides information on care needs at admission and remains with the patient as their personal source of communication. Promoting collaborative working and forging links with healthcare providers, it is now being used in the community, at outpatient clinics and at a support group.


Louise Cahill

3rd year, adult nursing, University of Hertfordshire

Since volunteering at a refugee centre and meeting a woman who had been a slave, third-year student Louise is passionate about ensuring the victims of human trafficking and modern slavery are identified and supported. She has volunteered for three years with an organisation that works directly with this vulnerable group and she has written a training session for nursing students that she has presented at universities around the country. After speaking to midwives at a London trust she was contacted by a midwife who had identified an expectant mother who had been trafficked. This year she has developed a tool with midwives to help all health professionals identify and respond to victims of modern slavery and human trafficking. 


Tanya Marlow

3rd year, children's nursing, University of Central Lancashire

Nasogastric (NG) tube insertion is usually taught on a clinical placement on a real child or baby, which can be stressful. Third-year children’s nursing student Tanya arranged and planned a theory session with first-year students during their preparation-for-placement workshop about NG feeding and tube insertion, covering measuring guidelines, aspiration techniques and pH indicator strip testing. She used a see-through dummy with an oesophagus, trachea and movable epiglottis to enable students to practise in a safe, controlled scenario under supervision and discussed holding techniques. Feedback showed students found the session informative and they felt much more comfortable and confident about the prospect of caring for children requiring NG feeding.


Zoe Butler

3rd year, adult nursing, University of Cumbria

Third-year adult nursing student Zoe produced the Hot Potato Project to address mental health problems and reduce stigma after a young girl at a theatre group where she volunteered took her own life. Zoe documented the experiences and feelings of young people accessing mental health services who felt they were misunderstood by healthcare professionals, peers and society. She developed discussion groups where they could share their stories with peers and explore what it means to keep good mental health. She collaborated with a writer and young people to write and film 40 monologues –resulting in a DVD resource, distributed to every Cumbrian school, which is used in awareness sessions delivered to nursing students.


Cancer Nursing Practice Award

Anne Hope and the Macmillan Aftercare Rehabilitation Team (MARS)

Royal Surrey County NHS Foundation Trust

Clinical nurse specialist Anne Hope helped secure funding for the Macmillan Aftercare Rehabilitation Service (MARS) providing aftercare and rehabilitation to address the complex needs of head and neck cancer survivors and improve their quality of life. She assisted in establishing the core multidisciplinary team of speech and language therapists, dieticians, a nutrition nurse and a care coordinator. Anne and her team have worked tirelessly to ensure every patient pathway in Surrey, West Sussex and Hampshire includes access to the service. Anne works with clinical nurse specialists across five different hospitals to ensure care is streamlined and as close as possible to home. The team has reduced avoidable re-admissions, inappropriate A&E attendance and post-treatment surgery complications.

Donna Cummings

Matron, Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Critical care matron Donna introduced and implemented I COUGH UK – a low cost, nurse-led, care bundle encompassing lung optimisation, oral healthcare and early mobilisation to reduce complications following major cancer surgery by reducing respiratory complications. It is part of the new ERAS+ pathway. Donna also plays a central role in the pathway’s Surgery School – a forum that major cancer surgery patients and their relatives are invited to attend before surgery. Following ERAS+ implementation, there has been a significant and sustained reduction in post-operative pulmonary complications, which have fallen from 19% to 9%. Length of hospital stay has also reduced. Patients report feeling empowered with 95% of patients rating Surgery School as ‘good’ or ‘very good’.

Jane Billing and the Urology oncology nurse specialist team

Royal Devon & Exeter NHS Foundation Trust

The team, led by Jane Billing (pictured), introduced pre-surgery health and well-being clinics specifically for patients requiring robotically assisted laparoscopic prostatectomy in response to patient feedback and high non-attendance and cancellation rates at the generic health and well-being clinics. Clinics, attended by patients and carers, include a presentation, small group breakouts, peer support opportunities and a Q&A with a patient representative. During a pilot, the non-attendance rate was 2% compared with 31% at generic clinics. Patient feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, with patients feeling less isolated, more in control and better informed. Carers feel more able to support their loved ones, and the clinics are now integral to the patient pathway.

Macmillan secondary breast cancer nursing service

The Christie NHS Foundation Trust

After a review demonstrated a gap in services, and following research, planning and consultation with patients, this team, led by Sharon Foy (pictured), developed a nurse-led clinic for newly diagnosed secondary breast cancer patients. Patients have a holistic assessment covering physical, psychological and social needs, and are empowered to self-manage and take control of their health. Evaluation shows patients are better informed about diagnosis. Pre-clinic, 66% of patients understood their treatment plan, which rose to 87% post-clinic. Perceived support and sense of control also increased. Patients said appointments allowed them to talk about fears and develop confidence in the treatment.

Michele Pengelly

Supportive Care Lead Nurse, Velindre NHS Trust

Inspired by bereaved children’s experiences, supportive care lead nurse Michele researched and wrote a book to help newly diagnosed patients talk to their children about cancer. Working with families and with equality manager Ceri Harris, she ensured the book series was accessible and suitable for single and same-sex parents, and had British Sign Language and audio versions. Michele developed guidance for parents to use before they tell the story and a training session for cancer nurses to explain the new resources so they can effectively support families. More than 200 families have used the books, which are being developed to include grandparents, siblings, different ethnic groups and people with disabilities.

Sharon Foy

Macmillan secondary breast cancer nursing service

The Christie NHS Foundation Trust

After a review demonstrated a gap in services, and following research, planning and consultation with patients, this team, including Sharon Foy (pictured), developed a nurse-led clinic for newly diagnosed secondary breast cancer patients. Patients have a holistic assessment covering physical, psychological and social needs, and are empowered to self-manage and take control of their health. Evaluation shows patients are better informed about diagnosis. Pre-clinic, 66% of patients understood their treatment plan, which rose to 87% post-clinic. Perceived support and sense of control also increased. Patients said appointments allowed them to talk about fears and develop confidence in the treatment.

Child Health Award

Carrie James

Health Transition Case Manager, Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust

Carrie created a holistic specialist transition service for young people aged 14-25 with complex conditions/disabilities, such as cerebral palsy and muscular dystrophy, to help them prepare for adulthood. The young person is helped by a key worker and role models with disabilities employed by the service in an environment in which they can explore and enhance their independence. There are social evenings and confidence-building holiday groups on practical skills such as driving and self-care. Young people are comprehensively assessed and receive advice and signposting to other services as appropriate. The young people and their families/carers are central to decision-making and generating ideas. The service has improved engagement, saved money and increased face-to-face support.


Catherine Brindle

Specialist School Nurse, Emotional Health and Wellbeing, North West Boroughs Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

As a specialist school nurse for emotional health and well-being, Catherine recognised school nurses lacked the confidence and skills to assess the increasing number of young people who were presenting with self-harm and suicidal ideation. This put young people at risk. She secured funding for a high quality evidence-based training package on recognising and addressing emotional distress and de-stigmatising mental health, which Catherine and school nurses deliver to their peers. School nurses have evaluated the training as ‘good’ or ‘excellent’ and report feeling more confident in their practice and better equipped to support a young person who presents to them in crisis. Young people report that they feel listened to and their concerns are taken seriously.


Drew McDonald

Senior Staff Nurse, NHS Grampian 

Drew developed an easy-to-use sepsis recognition tool for nursing staff to use during triage, and he successfully implemented it at Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital (RACH). His commitment and leadership has ensured that fluids and antibiotics are given within an hour of being admitted to the emergency department, usually within 30 minutes, and inspired the trust’s nursing community within RACH. The senior staff nurse adapted the tool –which takes 20 seconds to complete – trialled it and persevered to ensure staff were fully on board. Now that the tool is embedded, Drew continues to monitor its use through data collection and is working on implementing it in the paediatric assessment unit, as well as promoting the tool nationally.


Helen Thornton

Clinical Nurse Specialist for Children & Young People with Diabetes, St Helens & Knowsley NHS Teaching Trust

This clinical nurse specialist for children and young people with diabetes lobbied for 11 years to ensure the Goals of Diabetes Education – a national structured education programme – was made available to help UK children and young people manage their type 1 diabetes effectively. The Danish programme, based on behaviour modelling, provides a clear structure for nurse education of young people and provides measurable, age-expected, competencies. It also supports parents. Helen undertook a complete rewrite in 2015 and updated the resources in line with NICE guidance with support from Novo Nordisk and a team of health professionals. Copies of the updated version have been distributed to every paediatric diabetes clinic in the UK.


Karen Higgins and Lucy Andrews

Nurse Managers, Sunflowers Care

Nurse managers Lucy and Karen have created a home from home for children and young people with complex healthcare needs to support early discharge from hospital and offer rehabilitation and short-break care. They sourced a property and developed a business case in their own time, while working in the NHS full-time, before launching with a highly skilled, multidisciplinary team to ensure the children and their families are supported. They create a fun and stimulating environment that meets the holistic and developmental needs of the child, who can access education and social activities which enable them to live ordinary lives in extraordinary circumstances. Feedback from parent questionnaires has been unanimously positive. 


Community Nursing Award

Anne Thomas

Staff Nurse, Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board

Anne led a health education initiative from the outpatient department of Dolgellau Hospital in Wales to address inequalities in men’s health. Her research identified barriers the rural community experienced in accessing health education. With her team she consulted individuals and groups to find acceptable and accessible ways to engage men. Plans were developed with colleges, workplaces and GPs. Initiatives include prostate symptom drop-in clinics and awareness sessions for community groups in pubs. There is a healthy heart programme offering one-to-one support. Testicular cancer awareness sessions are provided in schools and colleges, and there are sun awareness sessions for farmers at cattle markets. 


Clare Mechen and the Best Foot Forward Leg Club team

The Adam Practice

An integrated team of practice and district nurses in Poole, Dorset, led by Clare Mechen (pictured), created a Lindsay Leg Club around the needs of the community after an audit revealed lower leg care was accounting for more than half of the surgery’s treatment room time and many patients had chronic non-healing wounds. After months of planning, finding suitable premises and equipment and negotiating a minibus for housebound patients, the drop-in service was launched, helped by a team of volunteers. This social model of care empowers patients to self-care, improving compliance and outcomes, with a focus on prevention. The club has seen significant peer support develop among its 250-plus members, improving self-worth and well-being, and reducing isolation. Evaluation demonstrates improved healing and minimal recurrence rates. Demand on treatment rooms has been reduced.

Gilly Barringer

Clinical Nurse Specialist - Pallitive Care Nurse, St Lukes Hospice

This clinical nurse specialist in palliative care led a collaborative project with 15 charities to ensure equity and choice at end of life (EOL) for a growing homeless community in Plymouth. The project has improved and integrated services and care pathways so the community has access to palliative care. A drop-in service is helping to coordinate care. The initiative has also identified and raised awareness of their needs, such as ensuring a hostel can be considered a preferred place of death. Building the confidence, knowledge and skills of staff in key areas has empowered them to support those at end of life. A network of 30 trained EOL ambassadors support the homeless by signposting and referring to services.

Mike Wooldridge

Clinical Trainer/Nurse Specialist - Huntington's Disease, Sussex Health Care

Nurse specialist Mike sought to improve the quality of life for people with Huntington’s disease by improving their mobility and gait. Patients said they were worried about leaving the house and had experienced verbal and physical abuse because they appeared drunk. Mike saw that specialist lycra shorts were effectively used for patients with multiple sclerosis. He collected a team of patients, researchers and physiotherapists to help him investigate whether a similar product could help his patients. The shorts have been a success. Patients’ mobility has improved and they are steadier sitting and getting up. This has significantly improved their confidence and mood. Potentially the shorts will keep people in their community longer and help families stay together. 

Sarah Minns

Macmillan Advanced Urology Nurse Practitioner, Burton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Macmillan advanced urology nurse practitioner Sarah set up a prostate cancer screening clinic in her own time at a local football club to raise awareness of the disease and detect the cancer early. With charities and the football club on board, Sarah planned and collected all the necessary equipment and helped design the pro forma. Of the 113 men screened over two days, eight were diagnosed with prostate cancer and two with metastatic disease. Sarah supports them through their journey. Screening was sought by a further 137 men. A survey showed 95% satisfied with the service, with 83% preferring screening at the football club or a primary care setting.


Healthcare Assistant Award

Cemlyn Roberts

Health Liaison Health Care Support Worker, Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board

‘Patient, kind and caring’ Cemlyn carries out most of the blood desensitisation referrals to his team. He has been nominated for his excellent approach and communication skills in supporting patients who have learning disabilities and show challenging behaviour, particularly those on the autistic spectrum. He has had considerable success with those who have not had blood taken previously. He is adept at recognising a person’s needs, and ensures he speaks with the patient, and anyone closely involved in their care, to identify any anxieties and strategies to reduce them. His approach has reduced the use of sedation and, because of their experience, patients are less anxious the next time they have blood taken. 


Elaine Cooney

Senior Healthcare Assistant, Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust 

Senior healthcare assistant Elaine puts patients with rare cancer pseudomyxoma peritonei at Basingstoke Hospital intensive care unit/high dependency unit at the heart of everything she does. She spent her own time and money decorating the relatives’ room so that it is now a bright, warm and inviting space with comfortable sofas that offers relatives waiting up to 14 hours for news a priceless chance for peer support. Warm and approachable, Elaine attends work in her own time to prepare patients and their relatives and discuss their anxieties. To ensure these visits are effective, she surveyed more than 200 patients. She produced a presentation that has earned her an invitation to a conference in the United States.


Jayne Burkinshaw

Health Care Assisstant, Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust 

Jayne led a pilot project for eight district nursing teams in Sandwell to use one phlebotomist to cover all teams to meet increasing demand. She helped develop a daily rota to cover each locality and criteria for non-urgent bloods. She developed and managed a waiting list system so she could book her own appointments, and a discharge system. Jayne forged links with district nurse team leaders by attending meetings and contacting them if she identified problems with their patients. She also provided feedback to the lead matron and helped evaluate the pilot. Feedback has been positive, with patients and carers saying that Jayne offered a first-class service.  


Judy Lever

Healthcare Assistant, Marie Curie

‘True professional’ and ‘strong patient advocate’ Judy often contacts colleagues to hand over patients’/families’ preferences. Patients who have previously refused help soon look forward to her visits. She is flexible and creative in coming up with ideas to support patients and carers. The overnight team’s backbone, Judy helps train new members and with her wealth of experience is often sought out for advice and assistance. Nurses are committed to working within a 25-mile radius, but Judy often drives 70 miles to reach patients in Dumfries and Galloway’s most rural locations. Her motto is: ‘Every patient/family deserves a visit in their hour of need.’ She also gives talks to local groups for the charity. 


Rommel Mabunga

Healthcare Assistant, Whittington Health

Rommel was nominated by thalassaemia day unit lead nurse Elizabeth Prescott for always going ‘above and beyond’ to help every member of the team, from porters to consultants. On his own initiative he has taken on extra duties such as stock control, fire, health and safety compliance, equipment maintenance and more. His willingness to work overtime on Sundays has helped the service offer a weekend clinic. He has a warm and welcoming approach to patients and is an oasis of calm even when the unit is under pressure. Responsible for venepuncture, his clinical skills combined with his communication/psychosocial skills ensure even ‘needle phobic’ patients feel confident in his hands. 


Leadership Award

Joanne Strain

Head of Nursing, Four Seasons Health Care

As head of nursing, Joanne led the implementation of a quality-of-life improvement programme (QOL) for 350 care homes. Using tablets and Wi-Fi, the system provides live feedback from residents, care partners, visiting professionals and staff. It prompts nurses to conduct mandatory digital audits, such as medication and weight loss. Joanne was part of the expert group that developed QOL and ensured its successful adoption for 16,000 care home residents by developing educational packages, sharing success stories and leading a change in culture. Choking or near-miss events have decreased by 21%, falls by 6.5% and infections by 14%. Incidents of pressure-ulceration development have decreased by 25% and the number of residents with unexpected weight loss over 2.5kg by 60%.


Julie Kinley and the Care Home Project Team

St Christopher’s Hospice

The team, represented by nurse consultant Julie Kinley, developed a research-based model of practice – the Steps to Success programme – that enables and supports staff to deliver high quality end of life care to residents and family members. It is tailored to specific settings such as nursing, residential and learning disability. The number of residents dying in care homes has risen from 57% across the initial 19 nursing homes in 2008-09 to 79% across 76 nursing homes in 2014-15. In residential homes it has risen from 44% in four homes in 2011-12 to 64% in 23 homes in 2014-15. Further data (2009-2015) revealed an increase in the nursing home documentation: advance care planning (from 51% to 82%) and cardiopulmonary resuscitation decisions (from 52% to 87%).

Katie De Freitas

Quality Improvement Lead, Great Ormond Street Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Katie developed a cultural competence e-learning training tool to raise awareness and improve quality of care and patient safety. She developed the tool, which helps staff understand key issues around culture and health, after her research highlighted that staff needed greater support to develop skills to respond to the varied needs of patients, especially those from black, Asian and minority-ethnic backgrounds. The tool, accessible for all NHS staff, can be used for revalidation and has been included in the national curriculum framework for level 5 nursing associate education and training programmes. The chief nursing officer for England and senior health leaders have contributed to its dissemination. 

Kerry Mutch & Rosie Everett

NMO Advanced Nurse Practitioner, Walton Centre Foundation Trust, Liverpool (Kerry) and NMO Advanced Nurse Practitioner, Oxford University Hospitals Foundation Trust (Rosie)

These nurse specialists initiated and developed the world’s first nursing service for those living in the UK with neuromyelitis optica (NMO) spectrum disorders (about 700 patients), an auto-immune condition causing inflammation of the spinal cord and optic nerves. They ensure people affected by NMO experience quality care, treatment and education, based on research and delivered with care, dignity and compassion. The service coordinates care between primary and secondary providers, including sharing specialist clinical experience with community colleagues to ensure patients receive care close to home, improving their health, well-being and quality of life. As well as being an expert lifeline in a relapse, or for symptom management, they raise awareness among health professionals of the rare condition.


Susie Scales and Amy Sims

Healthy Child Programme Service Lead (Susie) and Immunisation Coordinator (Amy), Derbyshire Community Health Services NHS Foundation Trust

Susie and Amy designed, implemented and evaluated a new school-aged immunisation service across the county in a short timescale. The team delivered four different vaccinations to 45 senior schools and 235 primary schools over 1,000 square miles within an academic year, while offering catch up vaccinations to the significant number of children that had missed them. They recruited a team, found base locations, sourced and ordered equipment, designed training and wrote policies/procedures to ensure a safe, high quality service. They offered extra local clinics out-of-hours and ensured special schools had the same support and responded quickly to developments such as the new flu campaign. Vaccination rates have dramatically increased.


Learning Disability Nursing Award

Amiee Fullwood, Amy Wixey and the Powwow Team

Countess of Chester Hospital/University of Chester

After their own research showed students were not confident in communicating with people who have a learning disability, this team of staff nurses, learning disability nurses and a student have created a fun and interactive session aimed at dispelling myths and improving care for patients with a learning disability in hospital. The PowWow programme they deliver follows a similar model to the Dementia Friends seminar and includes a 30-minute presentation on effective ways to communicate with a patient with a learning disability. They secured funding for a badge to prompt discussion between participants and a pocket communication guide. The PowWow team has been invited to speak at conferences and universities to spread the message of improving patient care, and is represented by Amy Wixey and Amiee Fillwood.


Helen Laverty

Professional Lead for Learning Disability Nursing, University of Nottingham

Helen, professional lead for learning disability nursing, initiated and developed Positive Choices network – a five-nations co-production approach ensuring students celebrate their choice to become a learning disability nurse. Since the first ‘one-off’ conference it has become a thriving social network and knowledge exchange valued by students, people with a learning disability, their families and the people who love them. Each year at least 500 nursing students – more than 8,000 since it started – join people with a learning disability and their loved ones for a free-to-access two-day event, which is now in its 14th year. It has been a springboard for the UK Learning and Intellectual Disability Academic Network, and the Positive Commitment movement. 


Jim Blair

Consultant Nurse, Great Ormond Street Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Consultant nurse Jim set up the Learning Disability Protocol for Preparation for Theatre and Recovery, a pathway to improve the experience and health outcomes of this vulnerable group. Approximately 45% of children coming through the admission ward have a learning disability. The protocol includes measures such as using ‘comforters’ to relax patients before surgery, lower levels of noise and light, and having parents/carers present. There are specific measures if the patient is still disturbed or distressed in recovery. The protocol/pathway has improved hospital staff’s confidence. Feedback from families shows they value that their child’s needs are being individually addressed and fewer operations are being cancelled.


Melanie Davies

Ward Sister, Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board

Following the death of a patient with severe learning disabilities on the ward she had just joined and a highly critical ombudsman report, Melanie worked with the family to make far-reaching and sustainable changes to how these vulnerable patients are cared for in Morriston Hospital, Swansea. In her own time she developed information packs for the nurse team and delivers training to ensure all staff recognise the individual and involve patients, their carers and families in all planning and decision-making. She builds relationships with new learning disability liaison nurses and has made discharge safer. Her work has been such a success that it has been rolled out across hospitals in her health board and is now being promoted across NHS Wales. 

Nicky Lyall

Doing It My Way, St Anne’s Community Services 

This small, dedicated team of learning disability nurses, represented by Nicky Lyall, created an end of life care teaching and support package for clients in a residential home after seeking training from a hospice. Specifically designed for people with a learning disability and aimed at providers, the Doing It My Way package includes a thought-provoking DVD and explores difficulties around the language used and the attitudes that exist around end of life care for people with a learning disability. The team has developed a palliative care support group for people with learning disabilities and is working on a non-verbal pain tool, symptom management and communication training. 

Mental Health Practice Award

Alan Wilmott and the CAMHS parent workshop team

Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust 

The team has developed and implemented a five-week programme of mental health workshops run for all parents whose child has received a child and mental health service assessment. The relaxed and informal sessions, designed by advanced practitioner Alan Wilmott (pictured), look at what is meant by mental health, how to recognise good mental health in children, how to support them when it deteriorates, and playful ways to engage with children and young people. There are opportunities for parents to share what they find helpful in supporting their children’s emotional health. Feedback showed parents felt more confident and less isolated, had a better understanding of mental illness and were more able to create and enjoy positive experiences with their child. 


Heather Meacham

CBT Nurse Therapist, NHS Forth Valley

This cognitive behaviour therapy nurse therapist introduced an evidence-based low intensity psychological interventions programme addressing mental health and offending behaviour in her health board’s prison settings. Mental health nurses in a pilot prison were trained and patients recruited, with support and supervision from Heather. The cost-effective programme – patients receive care to match their needs – was expanded to two further prisons. Evaluation has shown significant improvements in patients’ behaviours and presentation. Psychometric rating scales also indicated significant improvements. All participants completed the patient satisfaction form and all scored 4.5 out of 5. They reported less anxiety, fewer panic attacks, reduced feelings of isolation and greater peer support.


Jessica Wilson

Ward Manager, Elysium Healthcare

Ward manager Jessica has trained nurses and support workers to use traditional oral storytelling with patients in forensic hospitals to improve the therapeutic relationship. Storytelling is used in pre-planned sessions with groups or individuals, or spontaneously when a patient needs to be calmed. Jessica’s research shows it creates a positive atmosphere and distracts patients from stressful situations or distressing thoughts and emotions. It is used to engage patients being cared for in isolation. Nurses report it is helpful 
in volatile situations, avoiding extra medication or the use of physical interventions. It has improved relationships between nurses and patients, and nurses’ confidence and self-awareness. Jessica’s work has attracted interest in the UK and internationally.


Matty Caine and the Integrated nursing team

HMP/YOI Low Newton

Many women who are supported by this team have experienced significant physical and psychological trauma throughout their lives, which can be exacerbated by the perinatal period. The team was determined to improve the care of pregnant and young mothers resulting in a collaborative, innovative and cross-agency approach. The team, represented by mental health team manager Matty Caine (pictured), devised a perinatal mental health pathway, which ensures all women are listened to and their needs identified. Despite having no extra resources, they have delivered interventions promptly. Patient feedback has been excellent and all the women felt they were seen quickly and had access to support.


Sarah Biggs

East and North Crisis Team Services Manager, Hertfordshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

Crisis team service managers Sarah (pictured) and Helen formed a working group with service users and carers that used an airline industry approach – Safer Systems Analysis – to identify potential patient safety hazards and design them out of services. The group identified transfer and discharge as times of greater potential communication breakdown or care interruption, and created and implemented two initiatives. A new collaborative transfer and discharge system, the Moving On plan, was trialled in an acute unit. Second, patients assessed by the crisis team and whose care continued outside of the trust were followed up by phone within 48 hours and offered support if needed. Following a successful evaluation, both initiatives have been adopted by the trust.


Nursing Older People Award

Carol Bartholomew

Renal Elderly Care Liaison Nurse, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust

Frailty and its associated issues were shown to be more common in patients with chronic kidney disease and those on dialysis than in older people without renal impairment. Renal elderly care liaison nurse specialist Carol assesses, identifies and addresses the care needs of Hammersmith Hospital patients aged 70 and over, and those aged between 60 and 70 who are deemed frail. Screening includes frailty, memory loss and mobility. Dialysis unit teams report spending less time on patients’ supportive needs and the initiative has identified previously unrecognised geriatric syndromes. It has resulted in referrals to community and hospital teams and an improvement in patient experience.

Emily Watts and the Enhanced dementia support team

East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust

This matron-led dynamic team of 17 band 3 support workers provides enhanced one-to-one care for the increasing number of confused and high risk Lister Hospital patients who were being cared for by unskilled agency staff. Safer staffing matron Emily Watts (pictured) devised and implemented the initiative. It includes an ongoing training programme for the team, which moves flexibly around the hospital and is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The team uses distraction therapy and therapeutic techniques to ensure patients are calm, settled and free from causing harm to themselves or others. Feedback shows praise for its exceptional, compassionate care, and falls have reduced. The trust saved £144,000 on agency cover costs in three months.

Maria Loughran and the Person-centred nursing innovation and practice team

Northern Health and Social Care Trust

The team, including practice development nurse facilitator Maria Loughran, devised and implemented a dementia companion one-to-one care role that has improved patient experience on Antrim Area Hospital wards. It convened a multiprofessional steering group, secured funding and recruited, trained and supported band 2 staff for the pilot. Episodes of ‘violence and aggression’ have reduced by 75% and the number of falls has reduced. Nutrition and hydration have improved, patients feel calmer, valued and less isolated, and families are more confident their loved ones are safe. Nursing staff report a calming effect on wards, a confidence that patients are safe, and that the companions have time to care and play an important role in the protection of vulnerable adults.

Nicola Wood

Team Leader - Liaison Psychiatry, NHS Forth Valley

Liaison psychiatry team lead Nicola’s collaborative approach to improving the acute hospital journey for patients with dementia has significantly reduced the number of moves experienced by patients at Forth Valley Royal Hospital. The patient and carer experience has improved and nurses are reducing the risk of delirium and distress, which affects patients’ experiences and well-being. After tailored education/awareness sessions, staff report that they feel empowered to advocate for this patient group. Year on year the number of people moved before 8pm has risen from 52% to 92%, and those with two or more moves has fallen from 33% to 2%. The number of patients moved after midnight has also dramatically reduced. 

Sue Wills, Dena Ross and the Community Matron Care Homes Team

Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust

The team, represented by Sue Wills and Dena Ross, has reduced unplanned/avoidable admissions by supporting care home carers. The matrons identified the top ten care homes for emergency admissions and used links with the West Midlands Ambulance Service to develop a bespoke first-person-on-the-scene course. Feedback showed care home staff felt that it was tailored to their requirements and their increased knowledge and confidence enabled them to deliver quality care to residents. Coupled with work to ensure residents have clear care plans for long-term conditions, the initiative has reduced emergency department attendances by 18%.


Patients' Choice Award

Joanna O'Toole

Respiratory Specialist Nurse, Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Mum Lesley Chan has nominated her daughter Amélie’s ‘wonderful and courageous’ respiratory specialist nurse Jo for the comfort, support and compassion she has shown the family, even while terminally ill. Amélie has a rare syndrome and Jo has often stayed on long after her shift finished. She is always positive and ‘really listens’. Jo chases every result and always makes a plan – and ensures it is followed. She works hard to keep Amélie at home and the family together. And Jo is fun. Amélie is profoundly deaf and partially sighted but Jo never fails to raise a giggle and bring out her sense of humour.

Karen Coutts

Deputy Ward Sister - mental health, Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust

Karen was nominated by Alexandra Elkington for being the first person to help her move forward after a diagnosis of dissociative identity disorder. Karen was the first person to interact with the other ‘alters’ and through trial and error and positive risks helped her make progress. She helped colleagues understand Alexandra’s diagnosis, gave her the tools she needed to help herself and ensured her family and community team were kept informed. Alexandra doubts she would be alive today without her ‘superhuman’ nurse’s support.

Nadine MacArthur

Community Mental Health Nurse, NHS Grampian

Jo Mullen says her community mental heath nurse Nadine has made her feel empowered and independent through a collaborative approach to the therapeutic relationship. Nadine supported Jo to produce a booklet to help health professionals understand borderline personality disorder and a self-awareness programme to be delivered to patients with the diagnosis. Together they have delivered training sessions across Scotland. Jo says: ‘Nadine generously undertakes the long drives because I am too anxious to use public transport. Nadine’s willingness to work in a collaborative yet supportive way is central to me leading a purposeful life and experiencing the joy of achieving, despite the difficulties I face daily.’

Sarah Moody

Eating Disorder Specialist Nurse, Somerset partnership NHS Foundation Trust

Four years ago Hannah, chronically anorexic, was in hospital, sectioned, being fed nasogastrically and unlikely to survive the next few days. Sarah has gone above and beyond her duty, travelling to her at university, always at the end of a phone or email, helping her overcome attachment and abandonment issues and intimacy fears. Crucially she gave Hannah the time and confidence to believe she could and would recover. Today Hannah is planning her wedding, graduating as a nurse and hopefully after 15 years being discharged from mental health services. She says: ‘Sarah walked alongside me every step of the way.’

Sian Bodman

Senior Diabetes Nurse, Aneurin Bevan University Health Board

Sian has been nominated by Lynne Lewis for championing diabetes care, supporting patients and making them feel safe. Sian inspires her colleagues and patients alike. She finds ways to ensure patients and their families can access the information they need and to be able to adjust their lives to deal with and manage the condition. Lynne says Sian is a great communicator and makes sure that any explanations are appropriate to the person.


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