High praise for Northern Trust nursing staff

Northern Trust nursing staff members and initiatives have recently been recognised for their great work by reaching the finals of prestigious awards.

Margaret Toye was finalist Bank Nurse of the Year at the recent national RCNi Nurse Awards 2017 in London.

Margaret said, “I’m delighted and feel incredibly proud to have been nominated for this award. I decided to work as a bank nurse following retirement, as nursing has been my way of life for many years and I would have missed the interaction with patients and being able to improve someone’s life for the better. I feel I am able to draw on my years of experience to empathise with patients and to gain their trust and confidence.”

Maria Loughran, Northern Trust Practice Development Nurse Facilitator and Acting Lead Nurse, was finalist for the Nursing Older People Award at the national RCNi Nurse Awards 2017, representing the Northern Trust Team who led on the development of the one to one Dementia Companion Role in Antrim Area Hospital. The Dementia Companion Role has also been shortlisted for the Care of Older People category at the HSJ UK Patient Safety Awards 2017, being included in the top 9 in the UK. The awards ceremony will be held in Manchester in July.

The Northern Trust is the first Trust in Northern Ireland to develop the role of the Dementia Companion. The purpose of the role is to enhance the safety and experience of patients living with dementia when they are in hospital, by creating dementia friendly ward environments through providing ongoing reassurance and spending time engaging and befriending patients. The companions encourage and assist patients to eat meals under instruction from registered nursing staff, maintain a clutter-free environment around their bedside and if a patient is engaged in walking or wandering, Dementia Companions will remain with them to ensure their safety.

This work has greatly improved patient experience and reduced episodes of distressed behaviours. Additionally, falls have been reduced and nutrition and hydration of these patients has improved. Due to the Dementia Companions, families are more confident their loved ones are safe while in hospital.

The Northern Trust In-Reach into Nursing Homes Team was shortlisted for an International Integration Award and was in the final 11 from 50 nominees internationally. The Team has introduced an education, training and development programme into 40 HSC nursing homes.

The aim of the programme is to enhance the skill set of nurses working in nursing homes, so they can facilitate residents to remain at the home and reduce avoidable Emergency Department attendances. Team members provide training, support and facilitation which is then cascaded to other staff. A learning community is created within the nursing homes where staff network with each other to share ideas and problem solve. This work continues to show a reduction in avoidable Emergency Department attendances and reduced reliance on community nursing services.

As part of this Award, Sadie Campbell, Northern Trust Practice Development Facilitator gave a presentation on the In-Reach Service at University College, Dublin, highlighting this partnership approach to Person Centred Care.

Elizabeth Graham, Northern Trust Assistant Director of Person Centred Practice, Nursing Innovation and Development of Nursing said, “I would like to congratulate all our nurses and teams who were recognised at these prestigious awards. They demonstrate our staff’s commitment and dedication to our patients and in helping to make their experience the best possible. Well done!”

These Awards add to the Northern Trust’s recent success, where it was named one of the CHKS Top Hospitals for 2017.

30th May 2017

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