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NGH shortlisted for two Nursing Times awards

A Northampton project to support adults with learning disabilities and complex needs when they have surgery has been shortlisted for a national award that celebrates excellence in nursing and midwifery. 

The project is one of two shortlisted entries by Northampton General Hospital in the prestigious Nursing Times Awards. 

The two initiatives to be shortlisted are:  

  • a collaborative working project to develop individualised plans for patients with learning disabilities and complex needs who need to undergo surgery in hospital. The initiative sees the hospital’s lead learning disability nurse work with patients, their carers, their GP or other community health professionals, and members of the hospital’s surgical team to identify challenges and areas of concern. A bespoke care plan is then produced.

    This has been shortlisted in the Learning Disabilities Nursing category and is a joint entry from Northampton general Hospital and Nene Clinical Commissioning Group. 

  • A scheme to deliver in-house speciality training for registered nurses working in a surgical environment. The specialist training focuses on best evidence-based clinical practice and incorporates simulation training to develop clinical, leadership and team-working skills.

    This has been shortlisted in the Theatres category.

Debbie Wigley, lead learning disability nurse, said: "Hospitals can be scary places but for those with a learning disability, attending the unfamiliar busy environment can be extremely difficult with surgery providing an even greater challenge. 

"We closely with the carers of our patients with complex needs and a multi-professional team to understand what specific challenges our patients have and how we can make reasonable adjustments to help. 

"By working collaboratively with the patient’s wider health and care professionals, we’ve been able to carry out multiple procedures in the course of a single general anaesthetic to minimise anxiety and distress for the patient. 

"We know that people with learning disabilities have barriers to accessing health care. By developing this initiative, our staff have demonstrated how working differently can have a huge impact on individual patients and their families." 

Beverley Al-Azzawi, a practice development nurse who delivers the hospital’s surgical training programme, said: "Our staff benefit from the structured training programme because it’s underpinned by evidence-based best practice in their specialist area. And because it’s all developed and delivered in-house, there’s no cost."

There are 22 categories in the Nursing Times Awards and the winners will be announced at an awards event on 2 November.  

Last year, NGH won the Enhancing Patient Dignity award for its Chit Chat group tailoring antenatal education, parenting advice and peer support to women with additional needs, including learning disabilities or anxiety. 

Posted on Tuesday 1st August 2017
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