‘Extra support for our patients in the community is a team effort’
District nurse Andrea Jennings makes a huge difference to patients’ quality of life, say bereaved spouses
One day Jonas Thorsen and Catherine Dwyer were discussing losing their spouses to cancer when they realised they had something in common – outstanding care from district nurse Andrea Jennings.
‘She is proactive and a problem solver,’ say Ms Dwyer. ‘She gives of herself and cares for not just the patient but their families as well.’
Both have nominated Ms Jennings in the Patient’s Choice category of this year’s RCNi Nurse Awards.
Ms Dwyer says the clinical excellence of Queen’s Nurse Ms Jennings made a huge difference to her husband’s quality of life.
Referring to Mr Thorsen’s wife, Yvonne, she adds: ‘When Yvonne was admitted to the hospice, Andrea telephoned and visited to see how she was. When she returned home, she had Andrea’s personal mobile number so she could call her at any time.
‘Between 6pm and 8pm there is no nursing cover in the area. Andrea would always phone to check whether Yvonne needed any pain relief before the night nurses took over.
‘After our spouses died, Jonas and I both appreciated Andrea’s ongoing care.’
Ms Jennings, who works for University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust, says: ‘I’m not one for being in the centre of the limelight. I was a bit taken aback when I received the call to say I had been nominated.’
She stresses that while she made an extra connection with these patients, the care provided was a team effort. ‘My brilliant team was working hard looking after other patients, so I was able to give these patients extra support. I am so lucky to have had them.’
Voting opens on 1 May and closes at midnight on 14 June. The winner will be announced at the RCNi Nurse Awards ceremony in London on 3 July.
Our Patient’s Choice shortlist
Which of our five inspirational nurse nominees will win the Patient’s Choice award? Here are the rest of the finalists:
- Sarah Everett: Health checks and horticulture: a haven for men facing social isolation
- Emeka Madubeze: ‘This work is about empowering young people with mental health problems’
- Valerie Miller: Creating a home from home through cancer diagnosis and treatment
- Victoria Wilson: Making the care plan fit the patient’s life
Elaine Cole is RCNi special projects editor
The Patient’s Choice award is supported by the Patients Association