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NGH Nurse who supports end-of-life care receives top award from the Chief Nursing Officer for England

Mark and Kerry 2

Northampton General Hospital’s Deputy Lead Nurse for Palliative Care, Kerry Messam, receives her award from Deputy Chief Nursing Officer for England, and Chief Nurse for Health Education England, Prof Mark Radford.

A nurse from Northampton General Hospital has received a prestigious national award for her outstanding work supporting patients and their families in end-of-life care.

Kerry Messam, the hospital’s Deputy Lead Nurse for Palliative Care, has won a Chief Nursing Officer for England Silver Award which recognises major contributions to patient care and the nursing profession.

Kerry was presented with her award today (Tuesday, August 16) by Deputy Chief Nursing Officer for England, and Chief Nurse for Health Education England, Prof Mark Radford.

Northampton General Hospital’s Interim Director of Nursing, Debra Shanahan, nominated Kerry for the award.

She said: “Kerry is an outstanding nurse and patient advocate. During the Covid-19 pandemic she has continued to transform our end-of-life care service.

“She led a Trust-wide ‘Walking the Walk’ project which followed the carer journey from the time their loved one is admitted to the Trust to when they sadly, arrive in the mortuary, ensuring a diverse range of carers were represented in the experience and advocated for.

“She also worked with a health charity to create dedicated rooms, called Swan rooms, for protected care for our End-of-Life patients and their relatives.

“They feature things such as a pull-out chair to enable the carer to rest, phone charger, LED candles and visually appealing décor. The rooms are now being piloted and it is clear to see the positive impact they are having on patient and carer experience enabling a better experience until the end.

“Kerry is a strong advocate for patients and their carers and thoroughly deserves her national award.”

Kerry has also introduced a Specialist Palliative Care team dedicated to Urgent Care to ensure patients are identified early and, where appropriate, supported in the community rather than being admitted to hospital.

Prof Mark Radford, said: “I was delighted to visit Northampton General Hospital today and to present Kerry with a CNO Silver Award in recognition of her incredible work

“Kerry has led so many innovations to help improve patient care, including important work in end-of-life care and bereavement, offering support to patients and their families during the most difficult times.

“Congratulations to Kerry on this award and I look forward to seeing her work alongside the amazing teams at Northampton General Hospital continue.”

Kerry, who has been involved in leading end-of-life care at Northampton General Hospital for the last 15 years, said: “I was completely shocked to be presented with a Chief Nursing Officer Silver Award today.

“It is a privilege to be able to champion the needs of both patients and carers at the end of life.

“We acknowledge how physically and emotionally difficult being with a dying person can be. Having the opportunity to implement new initiatives to support both patients and families is an honour in itself.

“None of these initiatives would be possible without the support of my colleagues across the Trust. I would just like to say a huge thank you for the nomination and recognition of the importance of end-of-life care for our hospital.”

Prof Radford was also visiting Northampton General Hospital for an update on its Pathway to Excellence work. NGH became the first hospital in the UK to achieve the Pathway to Excellence accreditation in 2018 and is currently working on re-accreditation.

The pathway was developed in the USA and is framework of excellence which is now used across the world. NHS England are supporting UK hospitals to apply for the accreditation following the success of the programme at NGH. The programme aims to create a positive practice environment for nursing staff that improves nurse satisfaction and retention.

Posted on Tuesday 16th August 2022
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