Meet the RCN Nursing Awards finalists for 2023

Child health
Child health
Cope programme team ICON

This team is shortlisted for its simple but effective work, led by public health nurse Jane Scattergood, to prevent the devastating effects of abusive head trauma (AHT) on families and save the lives of babies. The coordinated national programme was co-produced with bereaved families and parents of babies who have experienced AHT. It delivers simple messaging about not shaking and harming a baby, which can be integrated into mainstream service delivery of the Healthy Child programme. ICON provides training and resources to healthcare professionals, and the programme is now firmly adopted across 65% of England, with more areas preparing to embed it.

Health for all team NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde

The Health for all team has worked with unaccompanied asylum-seeking young people (UASYP) to ensure their physical and emotional health needs are met holistically. It has helped new referrals promptly receive the care they need by creating a one-stop  shop to handle assessments, blood-borne virus testing and immunisation. The team has a trauma-informed approach – important as the young person may have been trafficked, smuggled, tortured or abused on their journey – and provides written information in different languages on how to access health services and interpreters. Funding to provide cooking classes for UASYPs, and to install a microwave in hotels to heat food, was secured by the team lead.

ISupport Edge Hill University

ISupport, a collaboration between 50 multidisciplinary professionals and experts from 16 countries. It has been working with children, parents and professionals to develop evidence-based international standards to define good procedural practice for children, and ensure children's short and long-term physical, emotional and psychological well-being are central in all decisions about procedures. The collaboration was inspired by Katie Dixon, who experienced multiple traumatic procedures in childhood and now has post-traumatic stress disorder. Ms Dixon challenged the ISupport lead, children’s nurse Lucy Bray, to 'make things better'. The team built a website, where the standards can be downloaded for free.

June Rogers Down Syndrome UK

Independent nurse practitioner June Rogers has been working with charity Down Syndrome UK to support families when toilet training their child with Down syndrome before they start school. She has developed an adaptable toilet skills development programme, which uses game playing to help explain toileting, and is appropriate for all children with learning difficulties.
Ms Rogers has helped support families online via social media, including a Facebook group that allows them and professionals to share best practice. There are now more than 4,500 families across the toilet training groups, with hundreds of children successfully toilet trained before starting school.

VAD and tissue viability clinical nurse specialist teams Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Foundation Trust

The Berlin Heart is a ventricular assist device, mainly used in children with end-stage heart failure as a bridge to transplant. Its use can lead to infections, and in turn, stroke. This team developed a new protocol, including enhanced cleaning techniques, new antimicrobials for cleaning and dressing, and antimicrobial wound irrigation solution, plus outer securement dressings were changed from a non-sterile tape to sterile dressings. Training sessions, a training video, and laminated instructions were provided by the team, which also supported staff at the bedside. In a trial on eight patients over 11 months, the infection rate after five months on support fell from 60% to zero.

Community & general practice nursing
Community & general practice nursing
Enabling effective learning environments team North East and North Cumbria Enabling Effective Learning Environments team and Newcastle GP Services

Workforce pressures in primary care nursing, and the need to restart primary care student placements following the pandemic, inspired Helen Stainsby and Joanna Vintis to set up Nurses on Tour. It supports student nurses in gaining valuable experience and helps patients get extra access to NHS checkups. This team supervised 40 students to visit GP practices, and set up and lead a roadshow offering health checks for patients, with coaching and peer support around effective learning and patient safety. Students made referrals for urgent reviews, and of 738 patients seen, 60% required follow up. Owing to its success, teams around the UK are implementing the model.

Helen O’Connell Modality AWC PCN

Inspired by a patient looking for a food bank in West Yorkshire, advanced nurse practitioner Helen O’Connell created social prescribing website Working in her own time during lockdown, and persuading her employer to give her £1,000 funding, she launched the directory with 60 organisations. The site now has 1,000 setups on board, and is a community interest company. Innovative marketing and media strategies have raised its profile, and a recent impact assessment report showed Treacle has contributed to a social return of more than £2 million. In the past three months, there has been more than 4,000 sessions on the site. It has been commissioned to cover Bradford district and Craven in Yorkshire, and Bolsover in Derbyshire.

Hospital at Home Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust

This team of passionate and dedicated children's nurses has created an invaluable Hospital at Home service. It is reducing admissions, ensuring children get discharged promptly, and addressing health inequalities in a deprived area – all easing pressures on hospital services. Since November 2021, 1,021 children have been cared for, with around 89% of those able to remain at home with their families – 98% of whom rate the service excellent. The team has worked hard to build relationships with GPs and doctors, and has also had excellent feedback from other healthcare professionals, who report feeling more confident when they discharge children home.

Memory impairment nursing service East Coast Community Healthcare

Nurse practitioner Joanne Oldham supports adults in Norfolk with memory issues who do not have a confirmed diagnosis of dementia. She assesses people in their homes, including phlebotomy, physiological and psychosocial assessments, and having created a care plan, liaises with GPs and other healthcare professionals on treatment options. She also teaches how memory impairment differs from dementia. Ms Oldham launched the service – which reviewed around 180 patients in its first year - in response to the decline in dementia diagnoses during the pandemic. Evaluation has shown it saves clinic space, more patients are treated for the right condition, and it has brought physical and mental health services together.

Veterans Clinical Services Help for Heroes

Retired Royal Navy nurse Captain Carol Betteridge has built a team of nurses and other professionals to support veterans nationwide in navigating primary healthcare services, and complement NHS support. Ms Betteridge launched Veterans Clinical Services (VCS), which has supported 2,013 veterans, mainly in the community. These include 29 very seriously injured veterans who are receiving lifelong support from a dedicated complex clinical case manager and occupational therapist, helping them thrive rather than just survive. VCS has educated thousands of practitioners on veterans’ needs, and co-delivered educational and self-help courses to veterans and their families, on issues such as managing pain, sleep, and hearing.

Digital innovation New for 2023 - Sponsored by FuturU
Digital innovation New for 2023 - Sponsored by FuturU
Andreia Trigo Enhanced Fertility

Nurse consultant and entrepreneur Andreia Trigo led the development of a platform through which healthcare professionals can request tests for patients ahead of fertility treatment. It also allows them to see patients’ health data, assess them remotely, and receive insights for diagnosis and decision-making. Ms Trigo managed the team and project, assisted in delivering the patient and clinician user journey-mapping exercise with the advisory board, and defining the clinical protocols. Patients are now able to complete affordable fertility testing three times faster than standard practice, and are starting treatment sooner, which has increased the likelihood of live birth.

Community nursing service Shropshire Community Health NHS Trust

This team has developed a demand and capacity tool in community nursing, which supports nurses to deliver holistic care to the people they visit – and be able to have the right amount of time to do so – in a climate of high demand and pressure. It prevents staff working over capacity and consequently delivering task-based care that can result in quality concerns. Improvement in patient experience is demonstrated by a reduction in complaints and the number of serious incidents. The tool has also improved the health and well-being of staff, increased job satisfaction and prevented staff from feeling overwhelmed or burnt out.

Digital skills passport nursing team University of Salford

The University of Salford DiSk Pass has empowered 2,000 nursing students to embrace digital technology and be at the forefront of digital innovation and leadership. It has been co-designed and implemented by a team of nurses, supported by social and digital scientists and nursing students. The curriculum is informed by evidence in digital health, nursing practice and collaboration with local providers and service users, who also deliver speaker sessions. It meets Nursing and Midwifery Council standards and the Health Education England's Digital Capabilities Framework. A study on students’ confidence, competence and application to practice indicates increased digital confidence and development of technical skills.

Melissa Rochon Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust

This team, led by Melissa Rochon, trust lead for SSI surveillance, research and innovation, worked with patients to develop a digital wound-monitoring platform. It carried out local and national surveys with 537 patients, and procured an industry partner to develop a platform where patients could securely send images and information about wounds for clinician review, in response to text message requests. The work includes an artificial intelligence component, for example, to improve the quality of the images. The wound monitoring platform was launched in 2020, after piloting with 30 patients. It is now used in eight hospitals, and more than 7,000 patients have benefited.

Paediatric diabetes team North Middlesex University Hospital

This team has increased the number of patients accessing insulin pumps and continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) devices, addressing the health inequalities experienced by those without digital skills or the hardware needed. It has built strong relationships with the medicines management team, increasing awareness of the importance of technology in diabetes management. The team sensitively identified service users who were digitally excluded due to financial constraints. It sourced and provided laptops to work in tandem with CGM monitoring, to download data from the sensors and insulin pumps provided. Improved diabetic control is shown by HbA1c blood test results 

Greener nursing practice
Greener nursing practice
Alex Langstaff The Christie NHS Foundation Trust

Alex Langstaff’s introduction of photobiomodulation (light therapy) to treat mucositis in patients with head and neck cancer has had a profound impact. In 11 patients who received treatment, it delivered a 63-day bed reduction – saving £32,319 and 2,483.39kg carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) – and they reported feeling involved and empowered. Their symptoms improved, with a 64% reduction in morphine use, and 50% reduction in patients needing medication after six weeks. Based on treatment eligibility of 180 tonsil and base of tongue cancer patients per year, savings are projected to increase to 42,774kg CO2e (equivalent to 123,197 miles driven in an average car), and £530,640.36 in admission and medication costs.

Green dream team Nuffield Health

Julia Currier realised staff at Haywards Heath hospital were often using the clinically offensive waste bin for recyclable and household waste, so she set out to reduce this and make her organisation more environmentally aware. In its first five months, the work of Ms Currier’s green dream team has seen significant environmental, social and financial savings and gains. The team spearheaded a reduction in use of paper, gloves and disposable cups, and clinical offensive waste has been reduced by 30%, saving 2.025 tonnes from deep landfill. The hospital’s carbon footprint has been reduced by 504kg carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) – all despite a 12% increase in patient activity compared to 2021-22.

Holly Slyne Northampton General Hospital NHS Trust

Holly Slyne led an impressive project to reduce unnecessary PPE use and reset practices adopted during the pandemic. From observations and surveys, she identified eight trends in overuse of gloves and aprons, and made a training package to address the issue, including TikTok videos, posters and screensavers. Ms Slyne refreshed the trust’s PPE policy, sending it to all staff, and porters, domestic and catering staff were trained. The initiative, which drew overwhelmingly positive feedback, is forecast to save 25,974kg carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e), and £22,687 over the year. Before its delivery, 12% of nurses responded correctly to surveys on correct PPE use, which increased to 98% after it.

Joann Wisehall Midlands Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust

Joann Wisehall eradicated single-use plastics on her ward’s medication rounds, after identifying that 29,200 single-use plastic cups and paper pots, and 16,000 single-use plastic spoons were used over a 12-month period. She ensured the benefits were clearly defined at ward level and also for the environment. The ward already had spare reusable cups, and patients were happy to use their own cups, with single-use plastic spoons replaced with metal spoons. Ms Wisehall’s collaborative approach ensured patients and nurses embraced the project, which also saved six days of nursing time that can now be spent on direct care.

Sheffield paediatric homeward nurses Nutricia

This team of nurses has significantly reduced plastic waste generated by the 300 tube-fed children it supports at home, by switching to reusable bottles. It identified potential objections and worked with families and NHS staff to mitigate them. Every family embraced the project, which they rated as excellent, and the team helped them free up space at home by reducing items delivered each month. The initiative was shown to achieve a reduction over 12 months of 4,224kg of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) – equal to 4,250 miles driven in an average car. The judges praised the project’s co-production and parent-centred approach to change.

Innovations in your specialty Sponsored by Nursing & Midwifery Council
Innovations in your specialty Sponsored by Nursing & Midwifery Council
#RestartAHeart campaign British Sikh Nurses

In its #RestartAHeart campaign, British Sikh Nurses has trained 120 members of the Sikh congregation from three gurdwaras (places of assembly and worship) in CPR, with six more events planned. All participants reported finding the training relevant and resources helpful. The sessions’ content was well organised, and instructions clear and understandable in English and Punjabi. The project has also brought the community together to discuss lifestyle choices and health and well-being; resources are targeted at the Sikh community, which has high levels of hypertension, cardiac disease and diabetes. The team raised awareness of its initiative on Sikh Channel (TV), Akaal Channel and Panjab Radio.

Agimol Pradeep and Dilla Davis King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Hospital

Agimol Pradeep and Dilla Davis have for three years been championing the cause of experienced internationally educated nurses (IENs), who are working as unregistered carers because of the English language test required by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC). In their own time, and self-funded, they undertook research and gathered evidence of thousands of nurses from India, Philippines and Nigeria, and presented findings to the NMC in November 2021. Their campaign through articles and social media influenced the NMC to implement the Supporting Information from Employers (SIFE) pathway. Through SIFE, 400 of these IENs have already achieved registration, and were working as registered nurses within eight weeks.  

Carer support nurse team East Coast Community Healthcare

A team from University of East Anglia (UEA) has worked with carers and professionals from health, social care and the voluntary sector to develop a carer support nurse role. This role is designed to help unpaid carers with health and well-being needs that cannot be met by their usual healthcare team, and to raise awareness of carer needs and best practice in support among other healthcare providers. Karen Murphy visits at home and carries out a carer-led assessment. The nurse takes a holistic approach to identify support required, such as signposting carers to organisations for financial aid, or referring them to occupational therapy for equipment.

Heart Centre Alder Hey Children's NHS Foundation Trust

This team has developed an app – Little Hearts at Home – to ensure very young children with severe heart defects can be carefully monitored at home while they wait for further surgery. Infants get to thrive in their own environment, outside of the hospital and with close and wider family. Families report feeling reassured and facing fewer difficulties, due to not being in hospital or having to travel. Remote and in-person workshops were delivered to 200 community nurses across 29 regions of the north west network, to give them an overview of the app and get their feedback about what features they needed.

Paediatric metabolic nursing team Belfast Health and Social Care Trust

This committed nursing team at Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children has set up a service so that children with a rare, life-limiting disease can be treated in Northern Ireland rather than travelling to London every two weeks. They overcame numerous hurdles and challenges to deliver an intracerebroventricular enzyme replacement therapy service for children with CLN2, one of a group of disorders known as Batten disease. They had to secure funding and clinical space, recruit staff willing to deliver the service and maintain senior management support. Parents are delighted they do not spend so much time travelling and say their life has been made much easier.

Admiral Nurse Academy team Dementia UK

The Admiral Nurse leadership pathway was launched by this team to value the nurses, recognise aspirations and facilitate their development. More than 60 Admiral Nurses have completed the course. Evaluation has demonstrated the impact for nurses, teams, families and communities. Examples of this for individuals and families include reduced waiting times, from referral to assessment, in some cases down from weeks to hours. Participants have become confident to innovate and find creative ways of working. They have been promoted to specialist roles, improved team performance, expanded their teams and seen their services recommissioned. More than 70% have gained promotion.

Babies, children and young people professional nurse advocates North Middlesex University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

This team has been shortlisted for leading the successful introduction of combined restorative and resilience-based clinical supervision in its hospital. It raises awareness through posters, holds team away days, and introduced professional nurse advocates. The team provides regular weekly sessions to all students. It offers a safe space for reflective discussions, and instigates career conversations encouraging staff to lead on quality improvement projects that would improve patient care. It signposts to well-being support, and identifies and responds to any concerns affecting staff, personally or professionally. There is a buddy system for newly qualified nurses and internationally educated nurses, social media support and a well-being forum.

Derbyshire Paediatric Palliative Care Urgent Response Service DHU Healthcare CIC in conjunction with Nottingham University Children's Hospital and University Hospitals Derby and Burton

This team ensures children at end of life are able to die at home. The Palliative Care Urgent Response Service (PCURS) previously only supported adults who wished to remain at home despite their urgent palliative healthcare needs. Owing to a lack of children’s community nurses, PCURS collaborated with paediatric teams to extend the service to under 18s. So far, it has supported three children to be able to die at home; another two children approaching the end of life also have that option. All parents who have experienced the death of their child and been helped by the service have been grateful to it.

Hilary Maxwell Dorset County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Clinical nurse specialist Hilary Maxwell has chaired GO Girls – a charity supporting women with gynaecological cancers – since 2015. She collaborated with colleagues, establishing trustees and a clinical advisory team. She canvassed patients’ views to determine the right brand and style that would enable the charity to grow. A five-year strategy gave focus and direction, with a clear governance and risk management structure. Patient feedback remains positive. GO Girls has been described as a lifeline, especially its peer support. Ms Maxwell is also writing a set of gynae-oncology competencies to support nurses in practice, in conjunction with the British Gynaecological Cancer Society.

Julie Roye East London NHS Foundation Trust

Head of nursing primary care Julie Roye has brought together a multidisciplinary team, administrative staff and population health leads to co-develop improvements to cervical screening uptake in a diverse patient population. Ms Roye recruited more nurses, established evening sessions in response to feedback, enabled women to book their preferred appointment time and nurse via a texted link, and ensured texts and letters were delivered in appropriate languages for non-fluent English speakers. She ensured inclusivity for trans men and non-binary people. In nine months, screening uptake has risen from 54% to 73% for people aged 25-49, and from 62% to 82% for those aged 50-64.

Learning disability nursing
Learning disability nursing
Annual health checks for young people project Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

This secondary care-based, learning disability nurse team in Wirral successfully applied for money to create a pilot project, aiming to increase annual health checks for young people with learning disabilities. Working closely with primary care providers, the nurses were able to employ a parent carer peer support worker with lived experience, to reach out to groups that were previously less likely to engage. These included looked-after children, people from areas of higher deprivation, and minority ethnic communities, and also young people aged 14 to 17. In this last group, the percentage accessing their annual health check has risen from 29.9% in 2020, to 49.5% in 2022.

Ashleigh Fox Catalyst Care Group

Following her experience of blowing the whistle as a newly qualified RNLD at Winterbourne View in 2010, Ashleigh Fox wanted to create a multi-agency model to help people experiencing severe delayed discharges to go home. With the CEO of Catalyst Care Group, Trevor Mapondera, she has piloted Bridging Support, a model that sees transition teams of highly qualified, engaged and valued clinicians work with people who have been in long-term seclusion. The teams build strong relationships and create safe discharge pathways, which have so far enabled 150 people to return home or remain in their own communities, avoiding hospital admission.

Clare Roberts Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust

Helicobacter pylori has a greater prevalence in people with a learning disability, and can affect their health. It can also be a factor in aspiration pneumonia, one of the leading causes of death in people with a learning disability. Community learning disability charge nurse Clare Roberts became aware that a number of referrals noted weight loss, agitation, gastric discomfort, bowel disturbances and vomiting. Antigen testing found all 14 involved had heliobacter pylori infection. Following eradication therapy, the health and well-being of 13 of those improved. Ms Roberts then created a fact sheet for community staff, and wrote an article for publication in Learning Disability Practice.

Derwen College nursing team Derwen College

Young people with learning disabilities or who are autistic do not always have access to regular hearing checks. With this in mind, the Derwen College nursing team joined a pilot study on hearing checks in education. Working with an audiologist, an NHS intensive health outreach team and a GP, the team was provided with hearing test equipment and upskilled to offer three types of checks. Out of 32 eligible students – none being under the care of ear, nose and throat specialists – 43% were identified as needing further intervention, including ear wax removal, ear infection treatment and referral to specialists. Two students have now been advised a hearing aid would benefit them.

Julie-Anne Colvin Southern Health and Social Care Trust

Julie-Anne Colvin could see there were no sleep services for adults with a learning disability, despite difficulties with sleeping having a huge impact on those people, their families and carers. The learning disability nurse developed a sleep service by first winning funding at her trust’s ‘Dragon’s Den’, employing a full-time sleep co-ordinator and securing sleep counsellor training for staff across the trust. People receive bespoke programmes and intensive support. The results have been life changing for individuals, and those close to them. For example, one man in his twenties can now sleep in his own room, and wants to live independently. 

Mental health nursing
Mental health nursing
Mental health urgent care department Essex Partnership University NHS Trust

This nurse-led unit was created to tackle the number of people with mental ill health presenting at Basildon University Hospital’s emergency department (ED), many waiting so long they left without being seen. The department has just officially opened, but in the first six weeks, it supported 225 patients, and reduced ED attendances by 67%, which continues to increase. The service has an average length of stay of six hours (plus a three-hour wait before seeing a clinician). Only one patient has left without treatment, and they had attended the day before and had a robust plan of care. Patient feedback has been excellent.

Scarisbrick inpatient unit Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust

Led by senior staff nurse Michaela Heaton, and in partnership with service users, this team has created the Bus Stop, a place for short therapeutic interventions on the inpatient unit. Originally a corridor where people stopped to talk to nurses sitting and writing up notes, the space has been transformed through collaboration with Lancashire County Council, Lush and Unilever, as a safe and sociable area. Ms Heaton secured official bus stop signs and timetables using the ward name. Staff have been trained to develop and deliver activities, and there has been a 60% reduction of self-harm, and 25% reduction in violence and aggression, on the ward.

School in-reach service Swansea Bay University Health Board

Lead nurse Claire Norman was given two days of clinical time to create a service supporting mental health in a pilot school, which has been so successful it now has staff to cover all primary schools in Swansea Bay. The service has created multi-agency forums, putting young people at the heart of discussions. Nurses share their expertise with school staff on techniques to manage mental health difficulties among children, and provide targeted training and bespoke packages for schools. Children have been able to access children and adolescent mental health services more promptly, and school staff say they are more confident supporting young people with their mental health.

Springbank ward Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust

Judges shortlisted this team, which supports people with borderline personality disorder, for ‘its excellence and ethos’. Service users sometimes have high-level urges for self-harm. Instead of increasing restrictions, however, the nurses work on safety planning, education around choices and consequences, and coaching in dialectical behavioural therapy skills. The team builds therapeutic relationships with service users to make discussions more powerful, create trust and convey respect. No restraint or rapid tranquilisation has been used on the ward since 2018, and self-harm incidents have reduced, as have readmission rates. Service users say they feel they are treated with dignity.

Team Afton Isle of Wight NHS Trust

This nursing team has been shortlisted for its innovative use of virtual reality headsets at an older person's mental health inpatient ward, to reduce restrictive practice and promote well-being. About 25 patients have used the headsets on the ward over the past 12 months, enjoying a new experience alongside more traditional activities. Patients say it is fun and has brought them joy, and the initiative has shown technology can be acceptable to older people in a mental health setting. The project is an important part of a wider quality improvement project that hopes to see a significant reduction in the number of patients requiring physical intervention.

Nursing older people
Nursing older people
Care home memory assessment service Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust

Dementia nurse consultant Kumar Ponnusamy wanted to address the memory clinic waiting list and create a memory assessment service to focus on diagnosis and improving dementia care in care homes. He wrote a business case, engaged stakeholders and designed a clinical pathway for the service. Mr Ponnusamy created nurse-led multidisciplinary meetings for case discussion, diagnosis and devising care plans, including reviews of antipsychotic medication. He also offered clinical supervision to mental health practitioners involved in the assessment process. In the first six months,109 people were assessed, with 95 receiving a diagnosis of dementia. Thirteen people were referred on to other services. Three discontinued antipsychotic medication.

Emily Ka-Hei Lui Dementia UK

The Chinese Welfare Trust Admiral Nurse clinic is the first Cantonese and Mandarin speaking service, and covers five London boroughs. Emily Ka-Hei Lui has linked up with Chinese community centres, churches and other organisations to provide advice and support for carers of those affected by dementia in the Chinese and south east Asian community. Ms Ka-Hei Lui has reduced stigma by providing dementia awareness workshops in Cantonese, Mandarin and English. She also writes articles for Chinese association newsletters and offers carer support sessions. Feedback from drop-in sessions, clinics and workshops is excellent.

Jo Nicholls Rotherham Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust

Queen’s Nurse Jo Nicholls has been shortlisted as a trailblazer for the nursing profession and inspirational role model to staff across clinical areas. Moving from the community to hospital during the pandemic, the nurse consultant has become the trust’s only non-medical approved clinician. Ms Nicholls has legal responsibility for patients detained under the Mental Health Act, including their admission, assessment, treatments (including non-medial prescribing) and discharge. She acts autonomously, supporting a multidisciplinary care team to provide exceptional care and treatment to those living with dementia, and support to their carers. Initial data show a significant reduction in length of stay for people with dementia.

Kay Anderson NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde

Advanced nurse practitioner Kay Anderson has prevented 600 admissions to hospital since starting her frailty service 18 months ago, and her specialist care makes families feel supported and looked after. She has improved people’s Rockwood clinical frailty scores and diagnoses, and secures quick access to geriatric medicine for those who need it. With colleagues, she has established community social hubs to provide assessments of frailty and offer physiotherapy exercise classes to support reconditioning of older people post pandemic. Ms Anderson runs and manages the service on her own and continues to strive to provide better care. She has just completed a master’s degree in adult support and protection.

Virtual wards team Swansea Bay University Health Board

The judges shortlisted this impressive virtual wards service covering a population of 500,000, for the way it meets the needs of frail and older people in such a timely way – and the commitment of its nurse managers to get it off the ground. The eight virtual wards provide multidisciplinary care for patients in the community who need to be stabilised in their own homes and supported to have the best quality of life. Since its phased introduction in October 2021, the service has saved more than  21,000 bed days in admission avoidance or reduced hospital stay. Feedback from patients and families has been overwhelmingly positive.  

Nursing student
Nursing student
Amy Mann University of York

Amy Mann founded Kathleen's Legacy after her grandmother died, initially making blankets for people at the end of life so no one died in a hospital blue blanket, but one made with love. After death, these blankets either remain with the person or are given to families as a positive reminder of their loved one. In its first year, the initiative donated 130 handmade blankets to end of life patients. Ms Mann has now developed a workshop on end of life care for her university peers. She shares her experience, and highlights the difference between end of life and palliative care, and best practice in end of life care.

Banjo Tamiru University of East London

Banjo Tamiru dedicates much of his free time to coaching and counselling refugees in the UK in employment, education and housing, and helping them to fill out application forms for jobs and schools. He helps them integrate into society, taking into account cultural and linguistic diversity, and supports them to start training courses in plumbing and cooking. Mr Tamiru was an IT champion to his student peers during the Covid-19 pandemic, facilitating and assisting them with technical issues to ease their anxiety and improve their ability to learn online. In 2022, he spent a month in Ethiopia, providing leadership training to 50 project managers from a non-profit organisation.

Ella Venn University of the West of England

Ella Venn is nursing director of Future Frontline team – a social enterprise aiming to inspire the current and future NHS workforce – and the aspiring students team co-director. She has been responsible for designing, organising and leading relevant and engaging events for aspiring and current nursing students. Ms Venn contacted speakers, marketed the events, created website and social media content, and reviewed the feedback to inform future ones. She also leads the Next Gen programme, an innovative outreach initiative to inspire and support sixth form students to pursue a career in healthcare. She liaises with sixth forms, and has recruited and trained volunteers from across the UK.

Jade Wareham The Open University/Isle of Wight NHS Trust

Registered nurse degree apprentice Jade Wareham has been shortlisted for her work raising awareness of and supporting neurodiverse students. Two years ago, she co-founded SShine – Sharing Student Healthcare Initiative for Neurodiversity and Equity – after finding herself discriminated against because of her dyslexia, which was diagnosed when she was 29. SShine is a group of UK-wide students, aiming to improve practice-based learning for neurodivergent healthcare students. Its guide to practice-based learning for neurodivergent students was published by Health Education England. Ms Wareham also recently designed and delivered a successful webinar on neurodiversity. Feedback from its 150-plus attendees was excellent.

Katrina Dyce University of Chester

Katrina Dyce has improved how the community cardiology service at Wirral Community Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust                                           
communicates with people who may find it difficult to engage with the service, to address non-attendance and ensure people receive more timely care. She identified barriers to attendance and engagement, including anxiety related to mental and physical health, neurodiverse conditions, learning disabilities and protected characteristics. To address the health inequalities this might produce, Ms Dyce led a quality improvement project to develop a welcome video, including the development of planning, liaising with the communications team, patient engagement, audit and evaluation.

Leanne Howlett Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust/Coventry University

During her placement, Leanne Howlett identified how daunting it can be for young people being discharged from mental health services. She could see they felt a real loss and increased anxiety, having been held by the service. Ms Howlett developed a resource to reassure and support young people to reflect on their recovery and all that they had learnt. The Discharge Wellbeing pack has been ratified by the nurses forum, and the service delivery and quality meeting, and will be rolled out across the whole service. The patients who have received the pack have reported that it has improved their discharge experience, helping to reframe it as something positive.

Nursing support worker
Nursing support worker
Christian Harris and Kirsten Jenkins Cwm Tag Morgannwg University Health Board

Head of nursing Lloyd Griffiths nominated these two support workers for ensuring all staff at child and adolescent mental health services inpatient unit Ty Llidiard receive prevention and management of violence and aggression training. Christian Harris and Kirsten Jenkins tailor training for children and young people. Their proactive approach includes the development of a bespoke chair with weighted comfort blanket for young people with eating disorders who have to be restrained while being fed, which has reduced the restraint required and trauma. They are passionate, dedicated, excellent role models, who play an active part in post-incident staff support and debrief.

Kayleigh Gregory Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board

Kayleigh Gregory has been nominated for her work in promoting inclusivity and diversity, and developing training, at her primary care mental health service. She noticed some staff courses were specifically gendered, and that this did not promote inclusivity, so she developed gender neutral material. Ms Gregory has compiled information resources to educate and update the team, and worked to improve awareness of bias and stereotyping. Staff now have greater awareness and knowledge of diversity and inclusivity. They do not assume pronouns and instead ask, and they report a better understanding of religious practices and the impact of people’s different cultural beliefs.

Lynn Maclean Paxton Green health centre

Assistant practitioner Lynn Maclean has been nominated for always looking for ways to develop her skills, to give people an exceptional service. She learnt British Sign Language Level 2 to support those with hearing difficulties, and developed the practice’s annual reviews for people with learning disabilities. The Care Quality Commission recently rated the service outstanding. Ms Maclean trained to do bladder scans so the practice could run a urinary flow clinic, reducing waiting lists and identifying cancer cases early, a service also rated outstanding. She achieved a chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) diploma, carries out the initial stage of COPD reviews, and sees patients with diabetes for part of their annual checks.

Racheal Crane James Paget University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Having lost her son, Max, when she was 20 weeks pregnant, Racheal Crane recognised the need for bespoke support for families that have experienced the loss of a baby or miscarriage. Feedback shows the baby loss support and aftercare service she developed is a lifeline for families and staff, providing them with a safe space to grieve, heal and connect with those who have had a similar experience. Ms Crane successfully applied for a research and evaluation scholarship programme in 2022 to further develop her service, using interviews and surveys to understand staff experiences of baby loss. She also set up a support group for families.

Tara Johnson Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust

Tara Johnson constantly strives to improve services for children and young people attending the emergency department (ED), and is an advocate for the most vulnerable. She excels in looking after children with mental ill health, learning difficulties and complex medical backgrounds, and is passionate about patient passports and ways to communicate; she developed aids to communicate with those who are non-verbal or have difficulties in communicating. Ms Johnson works tirelessly to attract donations so children can have suitable distraction toys, and always volunteers to help make the ED a safer, friendlier place for children and their families. She is an active member of the patient council.

Patient’s Choice
Patient’s Choice
Arches district nursing team Belfast Belfast Health and Social Care Trust

Janette Connor has nominated her district nursing team led by sister Orla Glennon. She says: ‘Because of my rare disease, I have over 200 skin ulcers that the team has dressed daily for two years, as well as looking after other elements of my care, such as my Hickman line. They have been an advocate for me, always trying to find ways to make a difference. I’m not a complex case when I am with them, but a person who has good days and bad, hopes and goals. All the nurses take a holistic approach. They know what is happening in my life and what’s important to me. Before I was under their care, in one year I spent close to 200 nights in hospital. With this team I’ve had one unplanned admission in two years.’

Chloe Ball Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS Foundation Trust

Mizata Kamara has nominated a nurse who she says has changed her life and given her the prospect of a future. Ms Kamara says: ‘I first came into mental health inpatient services aged 18. I was the youngest on the ward and autistic. Leaving the foster care system meant I had no family support. I was scared and broken. But Chloe saw strength in me that I never thought I had. She worked through my complex trauma and depression, adapting care to my needs each day. She dedicated time to build trust, rapport and get to know me, and planned game time to occupy me during family visiting. She worked on de-escalation, always aware of potential triggers even if I wasn't. She used clear and non-judgmental communication, especially if my autism meant I bombarded her with lots of anxieties. I'm now planning to attend university in 2024, learning to drive and volunteering.

Chloe Hammond Radis Community Care

A couple have nominated Chloe Hammond for her exceptional care of their son, who has cerebral palsy and profound learning disabilities. They say: ‘Chloe’s interaction with our son is amazing. He’s always excited when he knows Chloe is due to visit and has a very good relationship with Ocho, Chloe’s assistance dog. Chloe has done remarkable work building a good rapport with our son and gaining his trust. Previously he struggled with meeting new people who support him and had behavioural outbursts that would cause him distress. Chloe has made him feel safe, settled and supported so now having new care workers causes him minimal distress. We have been able to get back to being the parents of our son, not just his carers. Chloe is an asset and inspiration.’

Joan Newberry Friends’ School Lisburn

Joan Newberry was nominated by Josh Hannigan who says she always goes above and beyond for him and the other pupils at the Friends’ School Lisburn. The 16 year old says: ‘Joan has looked after me constantly mentally and physically. I have had multiple accidents such as broken arm, broken ankle, torn knee ligaments and throughout Joan has been a huge help caring for me and giving me the support I need to succeed in school and with daily activities. Joan was able to give me the mental healthcare I needed when I was diagnosed with anxiety and depression. She regularly checks how I am doing. I had a significant increase in anxiety when I was coming up to exams but Joan was always able to give me the support I needed.’

Joan Pons Laplana NHS England

Joan Pons Laplana has been nominated by Graham Rodgers who nearly died from a stroke due to Covid-19. Mr Rodgers says: ‘So many people helped me and saved my life, but Jo deserves a special nomination. He spent lots of time talking to me while I was in a coma at Royal Hallamshire Hospital. Jo discovered I was a musician and used to live in Nashville writing songs. He found the songs and played them on a small speaker by my bedside. He noticed that my heart rate increased when my music was played and eventually it woke me up. I have spent the past three years recovering, which has been very hard, but Jo has been beside me the whole journey, encouraging and supporting me. He was there for my comeback concert, helping, organising. He really is amazing.’

Researcher of the year New for 2023 – Sponsored by National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR)
Researcher of the year New for 2023 – Sponsored by National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR)
Anita Hanson PhD Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS) is a rare, life-threatening condition, commonly caused by a reaction to a medicine. There are no national standards for treatment, so Anita Hanson, working alongside members of the drug safety patient and public involvement group she set up and manages, led the co-production of My SJS Passport, to support survivors post discharge. As research matron and lead nurse for clinical pharmacology, Ms Hanson designed and delivered a proof of concept study to formally implement and evaluate the passport. Results suggested it will have a positive impact on the experiences of patients, following minor modifications to enhance its acceptability and utility.

Ben Bowers University of Cambridge

Ben Bowers, a Wellcome postdoctoral fellow and honorary nurse consultant in palliative care, has been shortlisted for two projects. First, his research on anticipatory medicine, which has made a substantial contribution to end of life care, and resulted in positive changes to practice, with many trusts creating safer systems to ensure timely assessments and access to injectable medications. Second, in his own time he has created the Community Nursing Research Forum, securing NHS England and National Institute for Health and Care funding. The forum enables nurses to learn about and share research, and aims to increase the numbers and impact of community-based clinical nurse researchers.

Kate Oulton Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Foundation Trust

Consultant nurse for learning disabilities and senior research fellow Kate Oulton undertook a three-year mixed-methods study to identify barriers and facilitators to children and young people with learning disabilities receiving equal access to high-quality hospital care. She led the grant application and oversaw all elements of the study. This included setting up a study steering committee and parent advisory group, holding weekly research meetings, and having accountability for finance and governance. Ms Oulton led its write-up in peer-reviewed publications, and presented findings nationally and internationally. She has used the findings to develop and implement the first learning disability strategy at the trust.

Rob Fenwick Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board

Emergency medicine consultant nurse Rob Fenwick has been shortlisted for developing evidence-based guidance for the extrication of people trapped in their vehicles after accidents. He was fundamental in project planning, research design, delivery of the research – practical and the write-up – and ensuring effective translation into clinical practice. The project, using a wide range of research methodologies, was delivered over several years with a small budget and no funded researcher time. Principles established through the research have been incorporated into national clinical and operational guidance. Rescue times will be reduced, resources used more effectively and patient experience improved.

Roxanne Crosby-Nwaobi Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Roxanne Crosby-Nwaobi leads a campaign to raise awareness of taking part in research opportunities among minority ethnic groups and people from deprived areas, traditionally poorly represented in clinical trials. A lead nurse for research, Dr Crosby-Nwaobi’s digital platform enables patients to easily sign up for trials. Her work with focus groups to co-produce and translate promotional materials has been translated into Gujarati, Punjabi, Hindi, Urdu and Bengali, with Turkish, Polish, Pashto and Dari in progress. Dr Crosby-Nwaobi is on track to deliver 50 roadshows by March 2024, some addressing up to 500 people. Through radio interviews, she has reached almost 43 million listeners.

Team of the year Sponsored by LV
Team of the year Sponsored by LV
Acute oncology advanced nurse practitioner team Velindre Unversity NHS Trust

Based in the acute oncology assessment unit, and working in partnership with oncology nurses, oncologists and allied health professionals, this team provides outstanding advanced practice and safe, timely, efficient and effective nursing care. Its holistic expertise encompasses assessment, investigation, diagnosis and treatment for patients experiencing complications of their cancer or cancer treatment. The team sees up to 160 patients per month, who require same-day emergency care. Not only has demand been increasing but the patients presenting have increasingly complex needs. Despite this, their figures consistently demonstrate that between 65% and 75% of patients are discharged on the same day.

ARC Hounslow Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust

This team, led by addiction nurse practitioner Eugenia Moyo-Hlahla, impressed the judges with its commitment to reducing health inequalities and stigma, by improving marginalised populations’ access to hepatitis C testing and treatment. It worked tirelessly to achieve micro-elimination of the virus in Hounslow as part of NHS England’s target by 2025 – and achieved its aims and targets two years early. Its innovative approach includes incentives to attend testing events, and tests on prescription collection days to reduce non-attendance. Proactive outreach included joint working with rangers, increasing access to groundbreaking treatments, and reducing drug injecting in local parks.

Feltwell ward The Queen Elizabeth Hospital King’s Lynn NHS Foundation Trust

Ward manager Samuel Jude and his nursing team have led the implementation of a multidisciplinary approach to prevent deconditioning in patients on their ward. The introduction of social dining has had a profound, positive effect on well-being. People in need of active or passive therapy are carefully identified at a daily meeting and provided with tailored therapy goals. Virtual reality headsets offer a range of engaging activities, such as skiing and rowing, which can be enjoyed by patients without ever leaving their beds or chairs. Activities and interventions are based on people’s hobbies and interests. Falls have reduced by more than 70%, and patient feedback is excellent.

Highland urology nursing team NHS Highland

With waiting lists growing, waiting times’ performance the poorest in Scotland, and difficulties recruiting consultants, this team accelerated the development of its nurses and implemented a range of nurse-led pathways. These included all urology subspecialties, such as prostate, renal and bladder cancer, and benign conditions. Virtual clinic attendance was increased for patients who would often have to come to appointments by air and sea, and a one-stop-shop service implemented for those who had to attend in person. More nurses were trained in cystoscopy. The team's nurse leadership and innovative approaches have seen NHS Highland’s performance climb to be one of the best in Scotland.

Person-centred care team Aneurin Bevan University Health Board

Patient feedback had identified loneliness and boredom on hospital wards. Staff reported increased agitation and behaviours that challenge for people living with dementia, and lack of awareness of how to deliver person-centred dementia care. In response, this team, led by Amanda Whent, used patient and carer feedback to develop a wide range of meaningful, person-centred activities and approaches, which built staff confidence in addressing the needs of people with dementia. Working with external organisations, volunteer to career pathways were created and an expert by experience panel established. The pilot was so successful it has been rolled out to the 141 wards across Gwent’s hospital sites.

Workforce initiative of the year New for 2023 – Sponsored by NHS Professionals
Workforce initiative of the year New for 2023 – Sponsored by NHS Professionals
Anti-Racism Shared Decision-Making Council University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust

The council – comprised of minority ethnic staff and allies – has been shortlisted for developing an anti-racism toolkit. It drew on personal lived experiences, talked about current issues and analysed Workforce Race Equality Standard (WRES) data, and equality, diversity and inclusion policies. The toolkit enables and empowers staff to be inclusive and act according to trust values and professional codes. It provides practical guidance and resources to help staff develop their confidence in being inclusive and anti-racist, and supports their cultural needs. The initiative has also improved their experience and well-being. It is expected to improve WRES data and staff retention.

British Indian Nurses Association

In three years, the British Indian Nurses Association (BINA) has grown from 200 to 3,000 members. It delivers Objective structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) support, and CPD programmes. Its tailored support has helped 300 members gain promotion. It engages in induction programmes, offering pastoral support to internationally educated nurses. During the pandemic, BINA raised money to provide lifesaving equipment internationally, and its specialist nurses helped organisations overseas upskill their nursing workforce in critical care practice. Members worked with disaster teams in India to give homeless people food and shelter, and in the UK provided bereavement and financial support to members and their families.

Gloucestershire Staff Transition and Retention Support Network Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

The GloStars peer support network has become an embedded resource for all professionals working in Gloucestershire hospitals. It supports people undertaking the nursing and allied health professional preceptorship programmes, offering check-ins by a workplace peer. There are 150 multidisciplinary volunteer GloStars Guardians who model peer support across different disciplines throughout the organisation. A peer support council of more than 160 multidisciplinary members contributes to and shares best practice. Celebrations, concerns and innovations are collected through the council, peer support check-ins, the preceptorship programme and the guardians to provide themes around workforce well-being and retention.

Nursing workforce and education team Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

Staff survey results and feedback sessions showed nurses did not feel valued, supported or empowered to improve their service or give care to the standard they aspired to. Nurse vacancies were high. However, the nursing workforce and education team has hugely reduced them. Its innovative Grow our Own programme supports the trust’s existing and future workforce to ensure it is able to give great care. The team focuses on demonstrating that it values staff by supporting their development and career progression, looking after their health and well-being, and providing pastoral care. Nursing support workers and internationally educated nurses have been supported to become registered nurses.

Ruth Miller Independent diabetes champion

Ruth Miller has been improving the safety of the Diabetes 10 Point Training programme she developed, and adapting it across other health and social care areas. The programme was initially implemented in hospitals, through in-person, ward-based training and train the trainer work. From 2020, delivery switched to virtual platforms. The programmes are now online, free and RCN-accredited, taking 90 minutes to complete. Ms Miller also realised community and social care staff needed role-relevant training. Additional programmes for adult social care, mental health and community teams have been completed by more than 4,500 staff. More than 11,200 staff in England have completed the inpatient programme.

Our sponsors