Trust scoops four awards at Nurse of the Year Awards

Four Nurses in the Northern Trust are celebrating as they scooped awards at the 2013 Nurse of the Year Awards.

The awards provide a unique opportunity to highlight excellence within Nursing in Northern Ireland, promote the achievements of the finalists and celebrate the contribution that nursing makes to the health and well-being of the people of Northern Ireland.

Transforming your Care highlights the way forward for health and social care in Northern Ireland. Nursing has a key role to playing in developing, delivering and leading the types of innovative services that are envisaged by Transforming Your Care.

Louise Sloan, from Ballymena, is a Renal Nurse Specialist in Antrim Area Hospital and was runner-up in the Nurse of the Year Category. Louise is based at Antrim Area Hospital but works across the Northern Trust. Louise was awarded for her success in developing the range of services available for patients with advanced chronic kidney disease. In particular, Louise has established a supportive care clinic for patients who do not wish to undergo dialysis, and a patient support group that has improved the ways in which information is communicated. The judging panel commended Louise for her unrelenting focus on improving patient care and the patient experience.

A new award, supported by Niamh (Northern Ireland Association for Mental Health) was established this year to reward innovation in mental health services. Roisin Henry, from Mid Ulster is a Personality Disorder Practitioner. Roisin won this award for developing the Personality Disorder Service in the Northern Trust. Roisin was praised for improving staff morale and, most importantly, improving the service for users.

Dr Angela Higgins from Martinstown is the Deputy Head of Occupational Health based in Antrim Area Hospital. Angela won the Nursing Research Award for her study which aimed to identify the key factors influencing the management of long term sickness absence in three of the HSC Trusts. Through her research she highlighted the importance of compliance with organisational procedures, good working relationships and multi-disciplinary collaboration in effectively managing sickness absence and supporting staff to return to work. Angela’s review has recently been published in an academic journal.

Jean Preston, who lives in Antrim is based in Antrim Area Hospital. Jean won the Health Care Support Worker Award and was nominated on the basis of her high level of motivation to provide excellence in nursing care. The judging panel was impressed with Jean's commitment to her own training and development, as well as the excellence of the care she provides to patients.

Olive MacLeod, Director of Nursing and User Experience, Northern Trust said: “I am extremely proud to be part of this exceptional nursing team which has again been recognised for excellence in patient care delivery”.

“This year’s finalists are an inspiration to the wider nursing and midwifery community and it is a privilege for me to lead such a team”.

Commenting on the Awards, RCN Northern Ireland Director Janice Smyth said: “The health and social care system in Northern Ireland has been under continuing pressure for quite some time. We are looking at how to deliver services better and I am extremely encouraged by what nurses working on the ground are achieving.”

“Nurses are in the perfect position to identify in our hospitals and communities how to bring about a more efficient and better service for patients. This has been demonstrated by the finalists and award winners recognised here tonight.”

Professor Brendan McCormack, University of Ulster, Dr Angela Higgins, who won the Nursing Research Award and Janice Smyth, Director, RCN Northern Ireland.

Charlotte McArdle, Chief Nursing Officer, DHSSPS, Jean Preston, winner of the Health Care Support Worker Award and Janice Smyth, Director, RCN Northern Ireland.

Professor Peter McBride, Niamh, Roisin Henry who won the Mental Health Innovation Award and Janice Smyth, Director of the RCN in Northern Ireland

Page last updated:04 July 2013