Nurse of the Year Winners 2019
Congratulations to all our winners and runners up at the 2019 RCN Wales Nurse of the Year Awards. In our eighth year we have once again seen the best and brightest talents in the Welsh nursing family!
RCN Wales Nurse of the Year 2019
Jean Saunders is named RCN Wales Nurse of the Year 2019!
Jean, who is employed by Swansea Bay University Health Board, supports and enables asylum seekers in her care. She is their advocate and fights passionately for their rights; her determination has made a significant difference to individuals, improving their care and ability to have a positive and safe life by enabling them to make informed choices and decisions. She has raised the profile and plight of asylum seekers and fights for equality in their care.
Jean carried out research and collected statistics in order to evaluate services for asylum seekers then used the data to influence health policy and improve services for this client group.
Through effective leadership, Jean has been able to build a strong, competent, autonomous team to support and empower asylum seekers to become more confident and resilient. One of the many asylum seekers whose life was changed by Jean said, "I ran away to find freedom, to a country I did not know and a system I did not understand. You need someone like Jean to guide and help you. Wales is my home now. Thank you."
Helen Whyley, Director, RCN Wales, said: "Jean is a great role model for nurses and nursing in Wales. She advocates for asylum seekers and has been extremely effective in improving services for them. Jean exudes passion, commitment and dedication within a challenging area of practice and overcomes any challenges by thinking of alternatives to improve their experience and quality of life. She is an inspiring leader to her team and all nurses. We are so pleased to have such a passionate, dedicated and skilled nurse as RCN Wales Nurse of the Year 2019."
Jean Saunders (third from left), pictured with (from left), Vaughan Gething AM, Minister for Health and Social Services, Professor Donna Mead OBE, CStJ, FRCN, Chair of Velindre University NHS Trust, Gaynor Jones MBE, Chair of RCN Wales Board (pictured right of Jean), Helen Whyley, Director, RCN Wales, Professor Anne Marie Rafferty CBE, FRCN, RCN President, and Dame Donna Kinnair, Chief Executive and General Secretary, Royal College of Nursing.
Lifetime Achievement Award - Angela Haley
Senior Nurse, Respiratory Services, Aneurin Bevan University Health Board
Angela combines commitment and self-motivation with a unique ability to motivate others in the field of respiratory nursing. She creates a vision whilst empowering others through education and support and gives colleagues the authority and confidence to act.
She is an inspirational nursing role model who is not afraid to challenge when her values appear compromised, above all she always puts the patient first and lives by her code of conduct.
Examples of this come from patient’s and their relatives who say, ‘sometimes I was so worried, but we had Angela in our corner, we were very fortunate…we had so much confidence and respect for Angela, we knew only the very best she could do would be good enough for her.’ ‘Angela is amazing and very dedicated to her job. She has made me feel more confident and secure in myself when dealing with my condition.’
In awarding Angela the Lifetime Achievement Award, the judging panel recognised that her work, dedication and ethos has transformed the care provided in her field and beyond during the course of her career. She has made a career long contribution to respiratory nursing services and has been recognised nationally over the last year in the field of respiratory work when she was awarded Respiratory Nurse of the Year 2019 by the Association of Respiratory Nurse Specialist.
Advanced and Specialist Nursing Award - Winner, Sarah Morgan
All Wales Mesothelioma UK Clinical Nurse Specialist and Senior Macmillan Lung Cancer Specialist Nurse, Hywel Dda University Health Board
Sarah noticed an inequity in service provision for lung cancer patients across Hywel Dda University Health Board (HDUHB) with patients and families suffering increased waiting times, demanding journeys, and a disconnected service. Recognising the distress this was causing, she set up a new nurse-led Rapid Access Lung Cancer (RALC) clinic for Ceredigion.
To ensure that the new service had improved care for patients in Ceredigion, a grant was secured from the National Lung Cancer Forum for Nurses to undertake an evaluation of the service. The evaluation concluded that 100% of patients agreed that the clinic worked well, saving them time and money. This model of care is being spread and scaled across HDUHB and also shared nationally.
Sarah is often a patient’s first contact following referral; during a patient’s first appointments. She conducts the assessment, discusses likely diagnosis and the proposed investigations. Following the investigations and MDT discussion, Sarah then sees the patient to tell them their diagnosis and to discuss the treatment pathway recommended. She builds a strong relationship with the patient and their family right from the start and can therefore provide special support and reassurance throughout the patient’s journey.
Advanced and Specialist Nursing Award - Runner Up, Daniel Marshall
Nurse Endoscopist, Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board
Daniel has made a significant difference to the care of patients undergoing endoscopy and gastroenterology care. He developed a risk stratification tool for treating ward and emergency patients with upper gastrointestinal bleeding (GI bleed), and provides a daily inpatient oesophago-gastro-duodenoscopy (OGD) service to facilitate early discharge.
In addition, Daniel also developed a One Stop Dysphagia clinic, taking a holistic approach via assessment in clinic followed by same-day endoscopy, providing feedback which is tailored with appropriate nutritional information and referrals. Given the geographical span of West Gwynedd, this saves much travelling and time for patients. Daniel has also developed bilingual leaflets for patients with upper GI disease. Currently, he is the only nurse in Wales to carry out this proceedure and one of around 10 in the whole of the UK.
He is a positive role model to the nursing team at Ysbyty Gwynedd and teaches and supervises new and junior nurses in the Endoscopy Unit. His enthusiasm and passion is infectious. Daniel has made a significant difference to the care of patients undergoing endoscopy and gastroenterology care; this is evidenced through positive feedback from patients and via patient satisfaction questionnaires.
Standards developed by Daniel are now being implemented to set standards across Wales.
Chief Nursing Officer for Wales Award - Winner, Deb Jackson
Head of Midwifery and Associate Director of Nursing, Aneurin Bevan University Health Board
As Head of Midwifery of a maternity service for over 10 years, Deb is a facilitative leader, nurturing and enabling others to flourish and realise their potential for the ultimate benefit of maternity care in Wales.
Deb has demonstrated passion for woman-centred care and valuing and engaging with staff to bring about innovation and service improvements across a wide number of areas. Many of these innovations are trailblazing. The panel particularly liked the development of the Band 4 scrub nurse role. This develops and values the support worker workforce and frees up midwifery time for delivering care. The panel also admired her project that enables outpatient induction of labour for women with uncomplicated pregnancies which enables them to return home during the early stages of labour.
Along with her team, Deb has led on several projects which have engaged with other professional groups; for example, she worked with dieticians for the introduction of an ‘eating for one, healthy for two’ clinic for women with a raised BMI.
Deb has a clear vision for what quality service looks like for families, and she empowers her staff to develop and practice their own leadership skills. Her decisions are firmly rooted in safety, quality and enhancement of the service user experience. She is passionate and protective: a warrior for women and midwives.
Chief Nursing Officer for Wales Award - Runner Up, Lesley Jenkins
Unit Nurse Director, Swansea Bay University Health Board
Lesley is a passionate, tenacious and inspirational leader, committed to improving patient care, and it is her inspirational leadership and commitment to improving patient care that has been the driving force behind the Pressure Ulcer Prevention Strategic Group (PUPSG.) She has been instrumental in establishing a new quality improvement framework to prevent pressure damage and has fostered a collaborative partnership with the Welsh Risk Pool for this work. As a result, the Health Board will have greater assurance about the identification of patients at risk, investigating incidents of harm, and appropriately providing person-centred care and treatment.
Through Lesley’s determination the culture of acceptance of pressure damage has greatly reduced across the organisation, the 2017/18 Welsh Risk Pool report into the work of PUPSG reported that there is ‘strong assurance that the pressure ulcer investigation and decision making process is robust and reliable’. She has established pressure ulcer scrutiny panels which have engaged the multi-disciplinary team. She has placed great emphasis on improving the learning culture which has fostered greater awareness of individual accountability in the prevention of skin damage. The outcome of this new approach has seen approximately 20% reduction in the number of pressure damage incidents in the last 30 months, which is a significant achievement.
Children and Midwifery Award - Winner, Emma Mills
Clinical Research Midwife, Aneurin Bevan University Health Board
Emma is a clinical research midwife who has gone above and beyond her role by developing a large service improvement project in response to requests of women. The Breech Birth project was born through service user engagement, with women asking for more choice in their decision making, mode and place of birth in relation to breech birth.
The Breech Birth project is unique in the UK. Women and the staff caring for them have been central to the project at all times and their voices listened to and heard. She has given women the ability to make an informed choice when it comes to breech birth, in making sure they understand that a caesarean section is not the default option for breech birth and if they opt for a vaginal birth they will be supported by highly-skilled professionals.
The Breech Birth Project has had a huge impact on staff engagement and on changing the culture around breech birth at local level. It has created a supportive nurturing environment and has ensured that all women accessing maternity services at our health board have fully informed choice and are reassured of highly skilled, supportive care.
Her leadership style is caring and facilitative and she has demonstrated her ability to motivate others. She has been able to inspire colleagues and is keen to demonstrate that her project is not just about her, but about the whole team. She is passionate about being the best she can be as a role model and takes pleasure out of watching others flourish. The project as a whole has great potential and will likely inform national practice.
Children and Midwifery Award - Runner Up, Ruth Richardson
Assistant Head of Children's Nursing and Continuing Care, Powys Teaching Health Board
Ruth provides care to children and their families at an important time. She is committed to children’s nursing and collaborative practice, by her involvement in the establishment of a joint project with Tyˆ Hafan Children’s Hospice, with the key aim of bolstering palliative and end of life care for children in Powys. Ruth practices family-centred care, always putting the child and their family at the centre of her work, and deals with sensitive issues with compassion, particularly when parents are experiencing the very worst of times. With this in mind, Ruth recognised the need to improve palliative care services for children and standardise palliative care for children across Powys, bringing it in line with the All-Wales Palliative Care Clinical Network for children and young people. She has also worked to ensure that children in Powys have access to services that meet the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidance (QS160).
Ruth demonstrates extreme resource-fulness whilst strategically empowering others. She has challenged many established wisdoms to ensure that the care needs of children and families can be met with dignity and kindness. Ruth is flexible to the needs of the population and fully engages with her staff, in order for them to develop and deliver high-quality services and care.
Community Nursing Award - Winner, Jean Saunders
Lead Nurse for Asylum Seekers, Swansea Bay University Health Board
Jean’s role as Lead Nurse for Asylum Health/ Health Access Team Co-ordinator, working predominately with asylum seekers, has raised the profile and plight of these individuals in relation to their challenges when accessing services. By collating data and working with colleagues nationally, she provides robust information in order to evaluate and improve services for asylum seekers. Jean has a proactive and responsive approach to working with an emerging, changing and particularly vulnerable client group and shows authentic and honest leadership. She uses her skills to represent those requiring her services, as well as using her voice to influence policy and improving health care.
Jean has been able to grow a team that is competent, autonomous and empowers staff and clients to become more confident and resilient. She is their advocate and fights passionately for their rights; her determination has made a significant difference to individuals, improving their care and ability to have a positive and safe life by enabling them to make informed choices and decisions.
Jean is innovative and caring, which is demonstrated in her commitment to quality improvement and service outcomes for individuals. When talking about her services, she does so with passion and will advocate and fight for the rights of this vulnerable group.
Community Nursing Award - Runner Up, Terri-Ann Patrick
Team Leader - Community Resource Team, Hywel Dda University Health Board
Through her engaging leadership style, Terri-Ann has led the development of a patient-centred service. She has enabled change in the delivery of services in Ceredigion by integrating wider community specialist teams and creating opportunities for community staff to increase their competencies such as the administration of IVs and other complex extended skills. This has reduced travel for patients, increased capacity in the teams, facilitated early hospital discharge and avoided admission into hospital.
Terri-Ann has worked tirelessly to keep patients at the centre, ensuring a strong, competent workforce providing a person focused service which is responsive, co-ordinated and improves outcomes for adults with long term conditions and/or complex needs including those patients who are at the end of their lives enabling a flexible approach to care.
Terri-Ann has been instrumental in guiding and managing staff through these changes, providing strong leadership, patience and the vision to support. Recognising that a whole system approach is required, Terri-Ann has built relationships with health and social care colleagues, as well as General Practitioners and the voluntary and community sectors, to promote independence, well-being and choice for service users. This has enabled a high standard of care being provided at home where patient choice can be maximised with the minimum of disruption to family life.
Health Care Support Worker Award - Winner, Nathan Harris and Kevin Bressington
Health Care Support Workers, Aneurin Bevan University Health Board
Nathan and Kevin work on a ward which supports men across Gwent with serious mental illness and offending histories by providing recovery and rehabilitation services.
Nathan and Kevin created a project that empowers service users to gain experience and skills whilst bringing in some funds for the ward’s charitable funds account for days out and recreational equipment. The RESTORE@TheWoodShed project aims to support the service users on Pillmawr Ward to gain knowledge and experience of working in a workshop. RESTORE stands for Rehabilitation, Education, Skills, Training and Ongoing Recovery for Everyone; the project helps to develop skills such as carpentry, bicycle repairs, refurbishing, tiling, plumbing and painting.
Nathan and Kevin’s can-do attitude has led to a significant impact and improvement in patients’ lives. Their project has been instrumental in the recovery and rehabilitation of this patient group, enabling them to make the transition from hospital to the community. At the same time, they have challenged the perceptions of others and empowered patients to develop their self-belief and recognise their capabilities.
Nathan and Kevin’s own personal determination and character have secured the necessary resources to set up and sustain the project.
Health Care Support Worker Award - Runner Up, Emma Lambert
Health Care Support Worker, Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board
Emma has a passion for working with patients in Primary Care Mental Health Support Services (PCMHSS) to enhance services and the patient experience.
When Emma first joined her team, she was able to provide a fresh perspective on services. While obtaining staff input on the service, she identified a lack of feedback from the patients. Her objective was to develop a project using the themes of co-production to include patients in the development and ongoing evaluation of the service by giving honest, direct feedback and to support further development of services. Emma was inspired to set up a focus group to assist in understanding if there was a gap in feedback and how she could address this. She started a ‘get-together’ of staff, patients and carers to discuss the numerous ways in which co-production can be developed throughout the PCMHSS.
Emma is extremely keen to build on the work she has already done to create more services for the future and to offer support to other areas within healthcare in order to open discussions on the benefits of co-production.
Improving Individual and Population Health Award - Winner, Christopher Hancock
Programme Lead - Acute Deterioration, 1000 Lives Improvement Service, Public Health Wales
Over the last ten years, Christopher has demonstrated his commitment and dedication in driving the important intervention of the National Early Warning Score (NEWS) in Wales. With the introduction of NEWS, sepsis screening and implementation of the Sepsis 6 bundle, Wales has seen fewer intensive care unit admissions and deaths from sepsis.
Having ensured the scale and spread of NEWS throughout acute settings, Christopher is now leading on its use in community. His experience, knowledge and approach to improving patient care have been supported by the evidence-based methodologies and tools promoted by the 1000 Lives Improvement Service.
His collaborative approach to developing a community of practice, drawing experienced members from each health board, has ensured a strong governance framework for acute deterioration services across the country.
Christopher has achieved international recognition and put Wales on the global map. This has given Wales a single measure and language for community levels of sickness across the spectrum of health and care. He believes strongly in the need to establish safe systems that provide health equity for the people of Wales.
Improving Individual and Population Health Award - Runner Up, Alison Ryland
Senior Nurse/ Healthcare Manager, Aneurin Bevan University Health Board
In two years, Alison has turned the prison health service around by identifying unmet needs which have been overlooked. According to the World Health Organization communicable diseases are frequently transmitted among prisoners, and the rates of HIV, hepatitis and tuberculosis are much higher among them than in the general population. There is also a high prevalence of mental health problems, including substance abuse disorders, and a higher prevalence of non-communicable diseases.
Through her inspirational leadership, Alison was proactive in the commissioning of a Public Health Wales Health and Social Care Needs Assessment (HSCNA) between 2017/18. This provided the evidence-base of need to improve access to healthcare for prisoners. In total, there were 96 recommendations that needed to be addressed. Today, through Alison’s commitment, drive and ability to motivate health, social care and prison staff, only five of the recommendations remain to be implemented.
Her leadership has been noted by HMP Inspectorate who observed that under Alison’s leadership, significant training opportunities had been provided for health care staff. They also noted several improvements to close partnership working between social services and prison officers, particularly in her drive to create a centre of excellence for older prisoners.
Innovation in Nursing Award - Winner, Sara Goode
Lead Nurse for Emergency Planning, Aneurin Bevan University Health Board
Through her role, Sara recognised the need for a consistent and effective All-Wales approach for dealing with pre-hospital major incident training, and so created a bespoke training course for nurses. Sara’s work has made a profound positive impact upon major incident preparedness in Wales.
The nurses are trained in triage and how to run a casualty clearing station, allowing the ambulance service to free up personnel at a critical time. A faculty of 12 trainers has been established with over 278 emergency nurses trained. Sara has also co-ordinated an on-call system of Medical Emergency Response Incident Team (MERIT) members for international events held locally such as the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) matches and the 2014 North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) summit. A further result of Sara’s work is the establishment of 16 new standard operational procedures.
Sara is instrumental in leading cost-effective, multi-agency, simulated training days and has demonstrated her commitment to this, providing the best possible education and student experience. Her work is widely recognised at a national level and is being used as an example of best practice across Wales. Her future ambitions include fully embedding the training across Wales and introducing it in Scotland.
Innovation in Nursing Award - Runner Up, Sharron Price
Senior Matron, Swansea Bay University Health Board
In her role, Sharron identified that there were frail older people “stuck” in hospital waiting for appropriate community support. These patients were at risk of losing functional ability and suffering avoidable deconditioning - many were placed in care homes due to their loss of independence. Sharron developed and led the pilot of an early supported discharge service (ESD) for patients within acute hospitals at Swansea Bay University Health Board. Due to its success, ESD has now been converted into a mainstream service across the Health Board with plans to roll out nationally.
Sharron looked to evidence-based practice in other areas, including stroke ESD, and identified lessons that could be applied to the care of frail older people. From these findings, a multi-disciplinary ESD was formed. Recognising the potential impact on primary and community care, Sharron ensured that she communicated with them from the outset and developed a clear operational policy and patient pathways which have been pivotal in ESD’s success.
Sharron is a passionate nursing leader who inspires her colleagues. She is not afraid to challenge traditional models of nursing care and ESD is one of many innovations to enrich
Mental Health and Learning Disabilities Award - Winner, Hayley Pheiffer and Denise Cowdell
Emergency Liaison Nurse (Hayley), and Emergency Liaison Manager (Denise), Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAHMS), Aneurin Bevan University Health Board
Hayley and Denise carried out a nurse-led and evidence-based piece of work in which they devised a forward-thinking, ground-breaking solution to some of the challenges inherent in CAMHS nursing in South Wales. Their solution was to provide a one-stop shop designed to mitigate the risks presented by self-harming behaviours and suicidal ideation in the younger population. The CAMHS Emergency Liaison Service now includes mental health assessments on wards and a triage system with the option of a response within 24 hours, offering an outpatient assessment as an alternative to hospital. This model has significantly reduced waiting lists and improved access to mental health services. Hayley and Denise have used informatics and methodologies to underpin this project and deliver change.
The one-stop shop has been positively received and offered clear benefits for patients, clients, families and colleagues. This innovative and sustainable service has been appropriately evaluated, is underpinned by a clear evidence base and a safe governance framework and demonstrates effective leadership.
As a team, both have brought enthusiastic and passionate leadership skills to bring about positive outcomes for CAMHS clients. The service changes they have developed and implemented have been not only life-saving, but life changing for the younger population of Wales who access its support.
Mental Health and Learning Disabilities Award - Runner Up, Kara Hannigan
ECT Manager, Cardiff and Vale University Health Board
Kara is clearly a passionate and highly qualified electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) nurse who has undertaken great steps in championing a nurse-led service in this speciality of mental health treatment. She has brought academic rigour and determination to this often stigmatised area of mental health on a national and international level and strives constantly to provide a quality service for her patients.
Kara is a published author, who has contributed to both journals and textbooks, including a chapter in The ECT Handbook published by the Royal College of Psychiatrists. Kara has been invited to present to an international office at a Chief Nursing Officer for Wales event, making her the first nurse to ever present at what is traditionally a forum for professors and psychologists.
Kara is a humble and unassuming leader and her drive for quality improvement is always on behalf of the patient. It is common for people to be apprehensive when told they require ECT but Kara always strives to support her patients to allay any fears.
She believes that the citizens of Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan deserve a safe and comfortable experience when receiving ECT.
Mentorship Award - Winner, Andrew Brown
Charge Nurse, Cardiff and Vale University Health Board
Andrew works with patients with gastroenterological disorders, liver disease and infectious diseases where the need for highly-skilled, calm staff is crucial. His composed and relaxed manner make him easily approachable and he has created an exceptional environment which has enabled mentorship to flourish. His personal leadership has encouraged a culture that supports and drives practice-based education to a very high standard.
Andrew takes an innovative approach to mentoring and supporting newly-qualified nurses such as the use of the simulation suite and the introduction of a badge system to indicate those members of the team who may need more support from their multi-professional colleagues.
Andrew recognises that students need a safe place for personal reflection following exposure to challenging situations and he actively facilitates this. He has made the important link between positive staff experience and how this impacts on patient care.
Andrew’s patients require many complex and demanding treatment regimens which require a high standard of skill, he ensures that his staff are equipped to provide training for the patients themselves, who can then be discharged and have treatment at home.
In addition, Andrew actively promotes the opportunity to learn via the medium of Welsh by utilising Welsh-speaking mentors.
Mentorship Award - Runner Up, Rhianydd Davey and Alice Lewis
Practice Nurses, Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board
Rhianydd and Alice have championed the importance of mentorship in the context of practice nursing in primary care, resulting in many students selecting primary care nursing as their chosen career pathway. The development of their student induction programme spans the primary care experience and they are passionate about promoting the breadth of the role of the GP practice nurse.
Rhianydd and Alice recognise the important role the practice nurse plays within family-centred multi-generational care; this is clearly demonstrated in their mentorship approach, which is underpinned by national strategic direction.
Student nurses who have been mentored by Rhianydd and Alice, have said: “I experienced the role of the practice nurse which has motivated and encouraged me to pursue my career within practice nursing, I just wish I had more time within this role. I would highly recommend any student to undertake their student studies within practice nursing”
Their enthusiastic approach makes them excellent ambassadors for practice nursing and to enable this area to fully realise its current and future potential within communities.
Nurse Education Award - Winner, Dr. Ruth Wyn Williams
Lecturer in Learning Disability Nursing, Bangor University
Ruth displays inspirational leadership and commitment to education, people with learning disabilities and the Welsh language. She has made a significant contribution to the bachelor of nursing learning disabilities programme and to students on other nursing programmes. She has designed, implemented and evaluated innovative approaches for adult nursing students to enable them to engage with people who have a learning disability. Her innovative and inclusive approach to teaching to ensure a meaningful application of learning to practise are evident in her passion and drive.
By acknowledging people with learning disabilities as ‘experts by experience’, ‘co-lecturers’ and ‘co-facilitators of learning’, Ruth works in partnership with them to influence the context of education and enable all involved to develop new skills and knowledge.
Ruth not only works within the field of learning disability nursing but across all fields of practise within her current role. She also has extensive networks across Wales and the UK and has contributed to a range of national strategies. Her passion for the significance of language choice to both people with learning disabilities and students is to be commended. Ruth impressed the panel with her modest and unassuming manner which belies her passion and dedication.
Nurse Education Award - Runner Up, Nicola Derrick and Edward Stark
Education Training and Professional Development Lead (Nicola), and Practice Development Nurse (Edward), Swansea Bay University Health Board
Nicola and Edward have worked in partnership to develop an inspirational health care support worker programme which is values based and links best practice and theory together to support the ongoing development of others.
They often work in partnership with service users and other professionals and they bring a different dynamic to the education of others. Nicola and Edward offer a flexible and individualised approach to learning and teaching which has engaged a hard-to-reach audience, a fact which is reflected in their levels of engagement. The achievements of the health care support workers were recognised across the Health Board and activities were provided to allow their hard work to be acknowledged and celebrated.
An educated and informed workforce is needed to ensure that the people who access services are treated with dignity and respect and receive the care that they deserve. Nicola and Edward are passionate about this and are always striving to improve the programme, based on evidence, feedback and experiential learning. Student feedback demonstrated a positive impact on confidence, competence and practise, thus improving the quality of patient care
Nicola and Edward’s enthusiasm and energy impressed the panel, and this was mirrored in the feedback from their students.
Nursing Student Award - Winner, Mitchell Richards
Student Nurse (Mental Health), Swansea University
Mitchell is a mental health student who has championed the needs of individuals with a learning disability across all health care sectors. Since becoming a nursing student in 2016, he has worked exceptionally hard, and mostly in his own time, to ensure his student body have a better understanding of how to care for patients with learning disabilities in order to ensure they receive the best possible care and experience.
Mitchell has raised awareness and promoted the work of the Paul Ridd Foundation and organised numerous fund raising events across Wales, culminating in September this year with the completion of the Welsh 3 Peaks Challenge.
Mitchell has influenced nurse education at a local and national level through the promotion and inclusion of caring for individuals with a learning disability within the core content of a new programme coming into place in 2020. He has also worked with the Paul Ridd Foundation to develop e-learning materials which are available through the NHS e-learning portal.
As a direct result of Mitchell’s passion and enthusiasm to promote greater understanding of individuals with learning disabilities, Swansea University has pledged to train every nursing student as a learning disability champion.
Nursing Student Award - Runner Up, Kayte Powell
Student Nurse (Adult), Bangor University
Kayte is an exceptional student nurse whose commitment to and passion for the nursing profession, demonstrating a ‘can-do’ attitude is visible in many aspects of her character and passion to promote person-centred interventions. She has demonstrated her commitment to this through her facilitative leadership skills and outstanding entrepreneurial skills during her nursing degree course.
She has played a significant role within Bangor University’s Nursing Society and as a RCN Student Information Officer. Under Kayte’s leadership, the Nursing Society Team has made significant achievements over the past two years, including numerous charitable events.
Kayte’s innovation has resulted in VIVIT, the world's only semi-synthetic human cadaver, coming to the university for the first time, which has now resulted in the university using VIVIT on a regular basis.
Kayte has developed a student nurse survival kit which provides useful and practical information for new students. She has also utilised a variety of social media platforms as a learning tool, including twitter chats amongst students.
She challenges students and always encourages them to develop their knowledge and to promote evidence-based interventions. Kayte is a real inspiration for all students and nurses.
Primary Care Nursing Award - Winner, Alyson Lloyd-Thomas
Senior Primary Care Nurse Advisor/ Senior Practice Nurse, Hywel Dda University Health Board
Alyson has two roles in primary care as a Senior Primary Care Nurse Advisor within Hywel Dda Health Board area, and as Senior Practice Nurse at St Peter’s Surgery, Carmarthen. The two roles complement each other and provide benefits for both patients and colleagues.
In her role as Senior Primary Care Nurse Advisor she has developed positive relationships with colleagues and provides professional and clinical leadership in a clear and supportive way. This has become apparent when working with Health Board-managed practices when there are often ongoing difficult situations, such as managing changes and the expectations of staff, auditing clinical standards, and developing new ways of working.
As well as undertaking the usual activities of a practice nurse to a high standard, Alyson has developed and runs an excellent asthma/ Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) clinic at the surgery, and is the practice lead on immunisation. Clinical safety and good governance are at the root of Alyson’s practice development work. One example of this is her work with Hywel Dda University Health Board Patient Group Directive (PGD) Group, where she provides specialist advice and takes the lead for Primary Care PGDs ensuring clinical standards and all aspects of medicines management in practice are covered. She has also recently developed an audit tool for General Practice which has been introduced and is already improving practice and patient care and experience.
Primary Care Nursing Award - Runner Up, Kathy Senchal
Practice Nurse, Hywel Dda University Health Board
Kathy is an experienced practice nurse who has extended her skills at an advanced level to meet the needs of patients within the practice. An area of expansion for the Brynteg Surgery was a nurse-led minor illness service.
Kathy has developed daily minor illness clinics in the practice with support from her General Practitioner (GP) mentor. Also, by working closely with the GP, pharmacist and nurse practitioner within her practice, Kathy provides a service where patients can be directed to the most appropriate person to deal with their needs. She is also involved in a collaborative clinic on a daily basis with a nearby surgery where she works within a multidisciplinary team including a physiotherapist, mental health practitioner and health care support worker. This gives patients a wide range of expertise to help deal with their health issues. In the future, it is planned to move joint services, including the minor illness team, into one building allowing patients to access appropriate care more easily.
Kathy is also a key member of a collaborative group with Swansea University and the primary care nursing team who are working together to produce a minor illness competency assessment in order to fill a current gap.
Registered Nurse (Adult) Award - Winner, Lynne Hall
Unit Sister, Swansea Bay University Health Board
Lynne impressed the panel with her passion and commitment to developing a nurse-led blood transfusion service which is unique in Wales. Lynne has put in place a system which is patient focused and has supported many patients who have a life limiting condition.
One example is a patient who suffered with chronic Intestinal bleeding and had a number of very recent hospital admissions and had received a total of 20 units of blood in 3 months. Since being treated in Lynne’s service the patient is reviewed on a regular basis with a holistic assessment which takes into account all of her physical and psychological needs. This particular patient has not required any hospital admissions within the last 18 months and has received 9 units of blood within the last 3 months.
Lynne has transformed the service which has greatly enriched the lives of her patients who no longer have to travel long distances for transfusions. This has dramatically improved the quality of their lives. The service she has developed is primarily focussed on the needs of patients and their families and Lynne engages with a wide network of health professionals to deliver this service, inspiring them all with her enthusiasm, knowledge and experience.
Registered Nurse (Adult) Award - Runner Up, Catherine Thomas
Sister Anaesthetics/ Recovery, and Learning Disability Champion, Swansea Bay University Health Board
Catherine has made an exceptional contribution by working to improve the service for patients with learning disabilities entering hospital for elective surgery. Catherine is a Registered Nurse working in theatres and the exceptional innovations she has introduced go well beyond the basic requirements of her role. In addition to her day to day work, inspired by the Learning Disability Improving Lives programme introduced by Welsh Government in 2017 and by Paul Ridd Foundation training, she has championed the Learning Disability Team in theatres in Neath Port Talbot Hospital.
She has gone the extra mile by engaging with patients, their families and carers to create the best and most positive experience possible during the pathway, which is particularly challenging for patients with learning disabilities. Her enthusiastic leadership is evidence based and the feedback received by the Service is 100% positive. She makes further contributions in spreading the word by recruiting new champions and speaking at conferences.
Catherine is determined to disseminate her innovative ideas throughout the UK and her work has already been recognised as exemplary outside Wales by NHS Trusts in Plymouth and Southampton.
Supporting Improvement Through Research Award - Winner, Hayley Forbes
Community Midwife, Aneurin Bevan University Health Board
Hayley is a community midwife who has a passion for research and improving care. Volunteering in her own time, Hayley offered support to The Breech Birth Project, aiming to increase women’s choices around breech birth. This project includes a specialist breech birth team, encompassing a birth place discussions clinic and skilled workforce. To assess the impact of the project, Hayley analysed data on breech birth over the last five years to establish the current position. This data has been used as the foundation for The Breech Birth Project, developing staff training and to further expand the project where it has had a positive impact increasing women’s options around vaginal breech birth.
Hayley has demonstrated excellent skills in improving the care of women experiencing vaginal breech births. She has developed her own research skills and practical expertise to improve the service to women. She has done this both locally in Wales and overseas in Ethiopia and Nepal, where resources are less available. She has also shared her enthusiasm through teaching, fundraising and contributing to the evidence available. Her commitment and enthusiasm to improving the care of women shines through.
Supporting Improvement Through Research Award - Runner Up, Victoria Shepherd
National Institute for Health Research Doctoral Research Fellow, Cardiff University
Victoria has established a programme of research with practical application, with groups whose voices previously had not been heard. This includes people living with dementia, older people in care home settings and others who lack mental capacity. She has an impressive publication record in high impact journals and has won prizes for her work as well as funding from competitive sources, including the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).
Victoria’s research includes a systematic review and a qualitative study to explore family experiences of making a decision about research on behalf of someone else. This has led to her developing an evidence-based decision support tool to help support families. Victoria now plans to develop a measure of the quality of decision-making for when her tool is used, hopefully leading to a trial of its effectiveness.
Victoria is always looking for new opportunities to extend her research skill set. She undertakes tasks that exceed the expectations of her role, for example providing advice to researchers nationally, and undertaking supervision of BSc students.
Victoria is an example of a nurse who is addressing problems using clinical trials on a national and increasingly international level.
Suzanne Goodall Paediatric Nursing Award - Winner, Sophie Williams
Transition Nurse, Ty Hafan
Sophie has been exceptionally innovative in utilising coproduction and personal vision to maximise the opportunities for young people with palliative needs to embrace life to the full. This has enabled young people to reach their potential through accessing higher education and enhanced life experience through travel.
In her role as a Specialist Transition Nurse, Sophie has demonstrated great skill in communicating with young people with a wide range of physical and learning disabilities about difficult and distressing subjects, including advanced care planning, future treatment options, emerging sexuality and living independently from their parents. This service has been welcomed by both young people and their families.
Sophie recognised the role of social media to empower young people and their families in decision making and attainment of goals. Newly developed transition hubs provide a real-time space for engaging with others and providing help with practical interventions that support a structured transition into adulthood. Sophie is also available for one to one or group discussions around healthy relationships, driving, letting go or Court Appointed Deputyship. This has meant that she has had to increase her own learning across a wide range of topics - a challenge that she has fully embraced.
Suzanne Goodall Paediatric Nursing Award - Runner Up, Sarah Byrne and Janet James
Paediatric Respiratory Nurse Specialists, Cardiff and Vale University Health Board
Sarah and Janet provide a nurse-led Long Term Ventilation (LTV) tertiary service throughout South, West and Mid Wales. They plan, provide and coordinate expert nursing care for ventilator dependant babies, children and adolescents.
They care for a complex group of patients, the majority of whom are life limited; some are palliative. They empower parents to care for their child at home and provide appropriate training and assessment of competencies at each individual families’ pace. Their service philosophy is the prevention of ill health and reducing hospital admissions. To this end, each child has an individualised care plan for parents to follow should their child become unwell. This allows treatment to be escalated at the earliest opportunity in an attempt to prevent hospital admission.
Sarah and Janet have developed link nurses in each of the Health Boards throughout South Wales, including primary and secondary care, and provide training and education which empowers nurses to support families in their locality. This year Janet and Sarah have produced an all-Wales resource booklet to support their education sessions.
Sarah and Janet are true advocates for the child and family and work tirelessly to support both.
Page last updated - 08/11/2020