Posted on Tuesday 1 July 2014
A still from Barbara's Story
No less than seven Guy’s and St Thomas’ individual nurses or teams of nursing staff have been shortlisted for the annual Nursing Times Awards.
The awards ‘showcase the superb innovations that are shaping and improving nurse-led care in the NHS and independent healthcare providers’.
Chief Nurse Eileen Sills says: “I want to congratulate our nursing staff for getting this far in the awards. But the most important thing is that their initiatives have already had a big impact on patient care.”
The shortlist is available on the Nursing Times website and winners will be announced on 29 October.
Team of the Year
Guy's and St Thomas' is shortlisted twice in this category - both the Band 3 Heightened Surveillance Team and all staff who have enhanced the care of vulnerable adults and those with dementia are in with a chance of winning the overall Team of the Year award.
Enhancing patient dignity
Barbara’s Story is a series of films about a fictional patient with dementia. It was developed by nursing staff in elderly care and safeguarding to raise awareness of dementia among all staff at the Trust.
Since then, it has been rolled out across the NHS, and the Director’s Cut of all six films – called Barbara, the whole story – has been viewed by more than 6,000 people across the globe on YouTube.
Clinical research nursing
Helen Jones, a research nurse who led an initiative to raise awareness of research nurses in hospitals, says: “Since 2011 we’ve doubled the number of patients taking part in research studies, and recruited 30 more research nurses across the Trust to support patients taking part in studies.”
Being a research-active hospital benefits patients. Evidence shows that patients do better at hospitals that carry out research, even if they’re not involved with a study.
Karen Newell, a respiratory nurse, worked with patients to develop a special passport that helps asthma patients seek medical help in the event of an asthma attack.
Karen says: “Asthma patients are at their most vulnerable when they are having an asthma attack. They can feel completely out of control and so are likely to avoid seeking medical help. During an attack patients can find it difficult to talk, so the passports provide clinical staff with the appropriate information.
“The passport is saving lives because patients are now more likely to go to A&E when they need to.”
Harriet Watson, a colorectal consultant nurse, launched a telephone assessment clinic for patients with suspected bowel cancer, which has improved patient care.
Harriet says: “Early diagnosis of bowel cancer improves the chance of survival and quality of life. Rather than waiting for an outpatient clinic with one of our surgeons, local GPs can now refer patients with suspected bowel cancer for a telephone appointment with me or a colleague.
“We assess the patient and book them in for the most appropriate test for their symptoms.”
NHS England is supporting plans for rolling out the cost-effective service nationally.
Infection prevention and control
Lillian Chiwera, the lead nurse for surgical site infection surveillance, has helped to introduce a simple change to prevent infections in patients after surgery.
Lillian says: “Five years ago I started leading the surveillance team, made up of doctors, nurses, and other healthcare care professionals. I encouraged them to work more closely together. Now we keep an eye on patients' surgical wounds to prevent infections. We carry out extra checks on wounds beyond those recommended in the NHS.
“It’s saving lives because there’s been a huge drop in the number of infections.”