Public scheme recognises nurses' compassion

Patients, families and colleagues can nominate nurses and other caregivers under a new scheme which benefits a healthcare charity and recognises compassionate care.

The RCN has praised a new scheme which recognises nurses going ‘the extra mile’ to provide compassionate care.

The Point of Care Foundation (PCF) is offering patients, families and colleagues the opportunity to nominate nurses and other healthcare staff, as part of its Commend a Caregiver programme.

By donating £20 or more to the charity, which supports healthcare staff in caring for patients, commended caregivers will receive a letter and certificate.

The caregiver’s name, role and organisation is also added to an online ‘board’ listing the nominated staff.

RCN professional lead for acute, emergency and critical care Anna Crossley said caregivers did not expect to receive recognition for care they provide as part of daily work.

‘But a thank-you, whether spoken or written, really goes a long way,’ she said.

‘Knowing you have made a difference on an individual level to a person is a real lift, especially during the current challenges providing care in the health service.

‘A mechanism for people to formally acknowledge individuals and celebrate the care they provide is a lovely idea.’

Ms Crossley added that it would also be ‘a great example of patient feedback’ for nurses and midwives to use for revalidation and appraisals.

Caregivers sustain healthcare system

Pauline Flanagan nominated her neighbour, practice nurse Kate Romanos, who provided support to her and her dying mother during her last days at home.

‘Kate is one of those loving, giving nurses who goes above and beyond,’ said Ms Flanagan.

'It’s nice to be recognised and nurses are not always appreciated for what they do.’

Ms Romanos, who has been a nurse for more than 40 years, said she was 'really touched and humbled' by her nomination.

'It's a lovely idea. You hear a lot of bad things that happen within the health service and [this] is really nice – I have known Pauline for many years and was just helping her as a friend because her mother was terminally ill.'

PCF chief executive Jocelyn Cornwell said it was the ‘tireless efforts’ of care staff who made the healthcare system the best it could be and urged people to nominate caregivers.

‘Whether you are grateful for a lifesaving procedure, or simple words of comfort, we would like you to help us by nominating those dedicated carers who support patients and families day in, day out.’

Accepting gifts from patients

Nurses may be prohibited from accepting certain gifts, as part of their organisational policy.

The NMC Code also warns nurses and midwives to refuse ‘all but the most trivial gifts, favours or hospitality, as accepting them could be interpreted as an attempt to gain preferential treatment’.

‘We recognise that patients want to thank nurses and midwives who provide great care,’ said an NMC spokesperson.

‘The Code requires nurses and midwives to use their professional judgement when offered gifts, accepting only those that are clearly tokens of gratitude and could not be interpreted as attempts to gain preferential treatment.’

Further information

To commend a caregiver or make a donation visit the PCF website.