The work of nurses and nursing teams at Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust (MTW) has been recognised with nominations in three categories in the Nursing Times Awards 2024.

Nurses are a vital part of delivering outstanding care to patients, and the Nursing Times Awards recognise innovative, patient-focused and inclusive care across a wide range of fields and specialties. They also recognise individuals who “stand out as truly exceptional and have gone above and beyond what is expected in their day-to-day role”, giving an opportunity to recognise the dedication, inspiration and hard work nurses across the country provide every day.

Vicky Williams, Stroke Clinical Lead and Lead Stroke Specialist Nurse in the Stroke Unit at Maidstone Hospital, has been shortlisted as Nurse Leader of the Year.

Vicky was nominated by Stroke Programme Manager, Louise Rattray, who praised her approach; pioneering innovative solutions in stroke care to improve the Trust’s Stroke Service. This has included the development of the Stroke Assessment Bay, one of the first of its kind in the UK and a key factor in the Stroke Unit maintaining an overall A-rating for over a year in the Sentinel Stroke National Audit Programme (SSNAP).

In her nomination, Louise wrote: “Vicky has worked in stroke services for 18 years but still demonstrates a passion and drive to deliver excellent stroke care every day. She is the epitome of professionalism and is highly respected not only at MTW, but also across the whole Kent and Medway region.”

Speaking of her shortlisting, Vicky said: “I am deeply honoured and humbled to be nominated for the Nursing Times’ Nurse Leader of the Year Award. This recognition is testament to the hard work, dedication and passion of the incredible Stroke team I have the privilege to work with every day.”

Learning Disability Liaison Nurse, Becky Hankin and Mental Capacity Act Clinical Nurse Specialist, Philippa Routs have been shortlisted in the Learning Disabilities Nursing category.

Patients with learning disabilities can be very anxious about coming to hospital, and may find the environment particularly challenging and stressful. This may make it harder for them to have the diagnostic test or treatment they need and learning disability nurses have a unique role in supporting patients, their families and carers.

Becky and Philippa have been shortlisted for their work developing pathways to support patients with learning disabilities and make sure their experience is as positive as possible.

Learning Disability Liaison Nurses support staff to make reasonable adjustments to suit each patient and make sure they can get the care they need promptly and safely. Becky’s hope is for MTW to become a leading trust in supporting patients with highly complex needs.

In addition to this national recognition, Becky was also a winner the Trust’s Exceptional people, outstanding care star awards in May in the Patient First category, for staff who go beyond normal expectations to care for patients with exceptional kindness, dignity and respect, showing the Trust commitment to putting patients first.

The Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) team have also been shortlisted in the Infection, Prevention and Control category for their quality improvement project to prevent bloodstream infections by improving the care and management of peripheral cannulas.

Vascular devices are known to be associated with hospital-acquired infections, and thanks to funding from the Kent and Medway Integrated Care Board, the IPC team began a project to reduce infections related to invasive devices.

All wards demonstrated an improvement in their compliance – with an overall improvement of 50% – and there were no peripheral cannula related MSSA bacteraemia reported during the project period (compared to four during the same period the year before).

The team now plan to share their learning and best practice with colleagues across the Kent and Medway region and begin an annual programme of work to support sustainability of the project.

Congratulations to all the finalists. The winners will be announced in October.


Source: mtw.nhs.uk


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