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Pauline Casey is RCN Northern Ireland Nurse of the Year 2016

Western Health and Social Care Trust lead nurse for older people's mental health wins coveted award for transforming dementia care.

12 May 2016

Western Health and Social Care Trust lead nurse for older people's mental health wins coveted award for transforming dementia care.

Pauline Casey RCN Northern Ireland Nurse of the Year 2016

Pauline Casey from Donemana in County Tyrone has won the title of RCN Northern Ireland Nurse of the Year 2016. Pauline was presented with the award on Thursday 12 May 2016 at a special ceremony held at Hillsborough Castle which also celebrated the RCN’s centenary.

Lead nurse for older people’s mental health at the Western Health and Social Care Trust, Pauline fought off competition from three other finalists to receive the award for leading a challenging redesign of services to ensure that people with dementia are assessed and treated in a dementia-designed unit or in their own homes and communities.

Over three years, Pauline reduced in-patient treatment from 84 days to just nine days, has developed two dementia-specific assessment centres and established a therapeutic hub at each hospital in the trust to assess, treat and diagnose complex patients. Within a year, Pauline achieved a 50% reduction in falls, a 90% reduction in challenging behaviour with other patients and a 94% improvement in the attendance rate for nurse-led outpatient reviews.

The judging panel was impressed by Pauline’s leadership and how she demonstrated that nurses can lead the way in enhancing patient care and implementing the Transforming your Care reform process to ensure that patients are cared for, where appropriate, in their own homes and communities rather than in hospitals.

Runners-up on the evening were Sarah Arthur and Marysia Graffin, district nurses with the Northern Health and Social Care Trust, who significantly improved efficiency and care for patients. Margaret Kerr, from Randalstown, won the Practice Nurse Award for her contribution to services at Antrim Health Centre over the past 26 years. Margaret was presented with her award by Valerie Watts, Chief Executive of the Health and Social Care Board, which sponsored the award.

An award to celebrate outstanding achievement in nursing, sponsored by the Northern Ireland Practice and Education Council [NIPEC] was presented to Robert Sowney. Robert is an expert in emergency care and was the first nurse consultant in Northern Ireland. He is also chair of the RCN Foundation.

The Cancer Nurse Award, sponsored by Cancer Focus and Macmillan Cancer Support, was presented to Kirsty McKay from Ballygally. A Macmillan nurse in the Northern Health and Social Care Trust, Kirsty has improved after-care for men diagnosed with prostate cancer.

Presented by Roberta Brownlee, Pat McClelland from Ballymoney won the new leadership award. Pat manages cancer services in the Northern Health and Social Care Trust and won the award for her leadership in transforming services. Her nominator said: “Pat’s dedication to her work and support of staff is exemplary. She is selfless in her pursuit of providing a service of excellence for people living with cancer.”

The diverse nature of nursing was highlighted through the new Defence Nursing Reservist Award, won by Gaby Smyth. Gaby, who was nursing officer in charge of the field hospital emergency department while serving in Afghanistan, has also developed and organised an education programme for nursing staff and health care assistants to prepare for deployment. Gaby was described as: “a truly dedicated and inspiring officer who has taken every opportunity to develop herself and others through training and education”.

Commenting on the awards, RCN Northern Ireland Director Janice Smyth said:  “Older people are among the most vulnerable in society, particularly those with dementia. Pauline Casey has made an outstanding contribution to improving care for these patients. This is the twentieth year of the Northern Ireland Nurse of the Year Awards, which have highlighted some of the best examples of nursing practice. Despite the challenges nursing and the wider health service has faced in recent times, it is important to recognise and value the excellent care nurses provide to the people of Northern Ireland.

“In this centenary year for the RCN, we are celebrating the development of the nursing profession during the last 100 years, not least the contribution nurses made during events such as both world wars and the years of conflict in Northern Ireland. Nurses have cared for patients through some of the most challenging and difficult times. We may face new types of challenges now, but what hasn’t changed is that nurses still put patients at the centre of health care.”


RCN Northern Ireland Nurse of the Year Award

Winner



Pauline Casey



Head of service/lead nurse for older people’s mental health



Western Health and Social Care Trust

Runner-up



Sarah Arthur, district nurse



Marysia Graffin, district nurse sister



Northern Health and Social Care Trust

Commended



Hilary Maguire



Clinical services manager, Northern Ireland Hospice



Anne O’Reilly



Transitions nurse specialist, Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice

Fionnuala Gallagher



Tissue viability nurse



South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust


Team Manager Award, sponsored by ABPI

Winner



Judith Mulligan



Ward manager



Southern Health and Social Care Trust

Runner-up



Brenda Rushe



Registered home manager



Weavers House Care Home, Cookstown


Health Care Support Worker Award, sponsored by Craegmoor

Winner



Ann Cusack



Health care assistant



Belfast Health and Social Care Trust

Runner-up



Mark McGeachy



Health care assistant



Rose Martha Court Care Home, Ballymena


Public Health Award, sponsored by the Public Health Agency

Winner



Jane Ferguson



Hearty Lives Craigavon health co-ordinator



Southern Health and Social Care Trust

Runner-up



David Olphert



Bereaved by Suicide liaison officer



Northern Health and Social Care Trust


Chief Nursing Officer’s Award

Winner



Mary McElroy



Lead nurse for patient safety, quality and experience



Public Health Agency

Runner-up



Brian McFetridge, Critical Care Network lead nurse and nurse consultant, critical care, Western Health and Social Care Trust



Linda Mulholland, Critical Care Network manager


Student Award, sponsored by the Queen’s University of Belfast

Winner



David Ferran



The Open University

Runners-up



Andrina Spence



Ulster University

Lisa Perry



The Queen’s University of Belfast


Nursing Research Award sponsored by Ulster University

Winner



Toni McAloon



Ulster University

Runner-up



Helen Kerr



The Queen’s University of Belfast


Learning in Practice Award, sponsored by The Open University

Winner

Lillian McClelland



Staff nurse



Northern Health and Social Care Trust

Runner-up



Lorraine Crymble, interim lead nurse infection control



Jean Gilmour, infection prevention and control nurse



Northern Health and Social Care Trust


Inspiring Excellence in Mental Health and Learning Disability Award, sponsored by Niamh

Winner



Lorraine Kirkpatrick



Regional manager



Four Seasons Health Care

Runner-up



Michael Rooney



Charge nurse



Belfast Health and Social Care Trust


Practice Nurse Award, sponsored by the Health and Social Care Board

Winner



Margaret Kerr



Practice nurse



Antrim Health Centre

Runner-up



Dorothy Cairns



Nurse practitioner



Aberfoyle Medical Practice, Derry-Londonderry


Cancer Nurse Award, sponsored by Cancer Focus and Macmillan Cancer Support

Winner



Kirsty McKay



Macmillan uro-oncology project nurse



Northern Health and Social Care Trust

Runner-up



Eimer McGeown



Breast care nurse specialist



Southern Health and Social Care Trust


Defence Nursing Reservist Award, sponsored by Defence Medical Services

Winner



Gaby Smyth



204 (North Irish) Field Hospital (Volunteers)

Runner-up

Neill Montgomery



204 (North Irish) Field Hospital (Volunteers)





Brownlee-Silverdale Leadership Award, sponsored by Roberta Brownlee and Silverdale Care Home

Winner



Pat McClelland



General manager for cancer services



Northern Health and Social Care Trust

Runner-up



Geraldine Maguire



Assistant director, specialist child health and disability



Southern Health and Social Care Trust


Patient’s Choice Award, sponsored by the Patient and Client Council

Winner



Melissa Steele



Staff nurse



Belfast Health and Social Care Trust

Runner-up



David Moore



Respiratory nurse specialist



Belfast Health and Social Care Trust


Outstanding Achievement Award, sponsored by NIPEC

Robert Sowney